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NHS Treatment Centres: Private Sector

Volume 470: debated on Monday 7 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the performance of Independent Sector Treatment Centres (ISTCs); what mechanisms are in place to monitor the undertaking of operations paid for by primary care trusts; how many complaints he has received of ISTCs not carrying out paid for operations; and if he will make a statement. (171396)

Around 839,000 national health service patients have been treated through the various independent sector treatment centre (ISTC) programmes to date.

The utilisation of ISTC contracts (the levels of update of services provided) is monitored by the Central Contracts Monitoring Unit of the Department’s Commercial Directorate.

The Department works with sponsors and providers to ensure optimum utilisation of the contracts through the total contract period. This includes changing the case-mix to respond to local needs, and working with providers and primary care trusts to recover previous under-utilised activity where possible.

The Department does not routinely collect information on the number of complaints made in respect of ISTCs. However, the Department, the NHS and providers meet quarterly for a Joint Service Review to discuss a range of operational issues and to ensure that the services offered deliver a high-quality effective service to the NHS patients that they serve.