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NHS: Private Sector

Volume 491: debated on Wednesday 22 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent steps he has taken to monitor the effect of the use of private sector operators on levels of patient care quality in (a) patient transport services and (b) the NHS; and if he will make a statement. (263402)

On 1 April 2009, the Care Quality Commission took over from the Healthcare Commission, the Commission for Social Care Inspection and the Mental Health Act Commission.

For 2009-10, the Commission continues to regulate private and voluntary health care and adult social care under the Care Standards Act 2000. Also for 2009-10, national health service providers have been registered against the requirement relating to health care associated infection and will continue to work to the national standards in Standards for Better Health.

From April 2010, the Care Quality Commission will start to operate a new registration system, covering both health and adult social care providers. This will be based in secondary legislation under the Health and Social Care Act 2008. Our aim is to ensure that the registration system is fair to all providers of regulated health or adult social care activities, no matter whether they are classed as health or adult social care, from the NHS, local authority or independent sectors.

In the Department's “Response to Consultation on the Framework for Registration of Health and Adult Social Care Providers and Consultation on Draft Regulations”, published on 30 March 2009, it has been announced that patient transport services will be brought within the new registration system under the 'emergency and urgent care' activity. It is also stated that private ambulance service providers will be brought into regulation from April 2011.