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NHS: Private Sector

Volume 476: debated on Tuesday 20 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will ensure that contracts which primary care trusts, NHS trusts and foundation trusts have with private sector providers of health and social care allow members of local involvement networks to enter the premises of providers to monitor the quality of the work they provide under such contracts. (206242)

On 1 April 2008 we issued Directions to organisations commissioning health and social care services. Under these Directions those organisations must ensure that new contracts with independent providers allow for authorised representatives of local involvement networks (LINks) to enter and view, and observe the carrying on of activities in, premises which are owned or controlled by the independent provider. The Directions entitled: “Local Involvement Networks—Briefing for independent providers”, have been placed in the Library and are available on the Department’s website at:

www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_083837

The Directions do not apply to national health service foundation trusts (FTs). The standard NHS contract for acute services contains provisions to ensure that new NHS FTs or those whose existing contracts have expired comply, in their role as providers, with all reasonable requests from LINks either to enter and view services or to provide information.