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Health Services: Contracts

Volume 475: debated on Friday 9 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance he issues to primary care trusts on procedures to be followed when letting alternative provider medical service (APMS) contracts, with particular reference to (a) tendering processes, (b) timescales, (c) criteria used to select the successful bidder, (d) per patient cost estimates and (e) bid scoring; what reports he has received of the tendering process conducted by Camden Primary Care Trust to run the Camden Road, Kings Cross and Brunswick Centre general practitioner practices; and if he will make a statement. (202124)

In December 2007 the Department published the PCT Procurement Framework—Equitable Access to Primary Medical Care—Local Procurement of GP Practices and Health Centres, to support primary care trusts (PCTs) in procuring the new general practitioner (GP) practices and health centre services. This framework is based on existing guidance from the Office of Government Commerce and contains a set of procurement tools and template documentation, including a number of suggested evaluation criteria. The precise mix of these criteria and their associated weightings will be determined locally by primary care trusts based on local circumstances. Copies of the framework and evaluation plan have been placed in the Library.

Additionally, the Department wrote to strategic health authority chief executives in December to confirm the core criteria and proposed time scales that will underpin the development of new GP practices and health centres. A copy of the letter has been placed in the Library.

The Department has not received any reports on the procurement conducted by Camden Primary Care Trust for three new GP practices. This was a locally managed process outwith the current procurements of new practices and health centres.