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Health Services: Voluntary Organisations

Volume 473: debated on Friday 14 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made towards ensuring third sector organisations providing services in (a) Lincolnshire and (b) England are awarded three-year contracts. (193319)

Information on the proportion of contracts awarded to third sector providers that are for three years is not collected centrally. However, the Department fully supports the expectation that Government Departments pass on the certainty of longer-term funding, where appropriate, to the third sector organisations that they and their agencies fund.

The Office of the Third Sector (OTS) has proposed a staged approach to implementing three-year funding. The Department will work between now and 31 October 2008, to establish the arrangements needed to ensure reporting in 2009 on the proportion of funding arrangements between primary care trusts (PCTs) and third sector organisations that allow for three year funding, that do not impose unnecessary burdens on PCTs.

The 2008-09 NHS Operating Framework included the message that PCTs should not feel prevented from entering into three year agreements with local partners including small and medium enterprises and the third sector that establish practical measures to maximise their capacity to deliver health and well-being outcomes.