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NHS Midlands and East competition dispute resolution

 

The Competition Panel, supporting the SHA's dispute resolution procedure
The Competition Panel, supporting the SHA's dispute resolution procedure

NHS Midlands and East competition dispute resolution

Following the bringing together of the three separate Strategic Health Authorities in October 2011, the NHS Midlands & East SHA Cluster has established a Competition Panel to provide advice to the SHA Executive on the resolution or referral of complaints submitted under the SHA’s Dispute Resolution Procedure.  The procedure concerns alleged breaches of the Principles and Rules of Cooperation and Competition (PRCC).

 

The PRCC apply to all Primary Care Trust (PCT) contracted or funded health and social care services, and were published by the Department of Health alongside the Operating Framework 07/08.  They were subsequently updated in July 2010.

 

Since December 2007, NHS commissioners and providers have been required to follow the PRCC which have been designed to embed sound, transparent and fair commercial practice in the NHS as it decentralises and broadens its contractual counterpart and provider base.

 

The PRCC are policed by the Cooperation and Competition Panel, as adviser to the Department of Health and Monitor at national level.  Local Competition Panels advise SHAs and PCT Clusters at regional level. Given that NHS services currently fall outside the scope of UK and EU competition legislation, the PRCC and competition panels serve an important role in encouraging best commissioning practice and providing a credible avenue for dispute resolution, thereby encouraging non NHS providers to feel that they will be treated fairly when bidding to provide NHS services.

 

During the transition, the NHS Operating Framework 2012/13, specifies that ‘SHA clusters will have oversight of the PRCC locally in 2012/13 and should ensure compliance by local commissioners and NHS trusts’. The Operating Framework further decrees that PCT clusters must comply with the PRCC, specifying the operation of any qualified provider in elective, and requires the publication of any decision to restrict patient choice, which may only be taken at Board level.

 

Informal requests for advice can be made via the contact us page.