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NHS: Service Providers

Volume 713: debated on Thursday 22 October 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government following the speech by the Secretary of State for Health, Andy Burnham, to the King's Fund on 17 September, what assessment they have made of the compatibility of the Secretary of State's remarks with European Union competition legislation. [HL5573]

The Secretary of State's speech to the King's Fund on 17 September is consistent with published policy on co-operation and competition within the National Health Service. Outside of acute elective care, where national policy requires a model of competition driven by patient choice, it is for primary care trusts (PCTs) to decide when and how to use competition as a lever for improving services. Where PCTs utilise competition in the procurement of health services, then this must be compliant with national policy as set out in the PCT procurement guide. This guidance reflects cross-government policy on public procurement and is consistent with the European EU treaty principles of transparency, proportionality, non-discrimination and equality of treatment.