In response to the Health Select Committee’s report on NHS proposals for legislative change, David Hare, Chief Executive of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network, said:
“Today’s House of Commons Health and Social Care Select Committee’s report on NHS England’s proposals for legislative change is a helpful and pragmatic review of the complex issues that are raised by potential changes to the NHS’ legal framework. Of particular importance is that the Committee once again makes clear that a diverse provider market including the independent sector can contribute to more integrated services for patients, and warns against the potential for ‘monopolistic, NHS-centric airless rooms’.
“We are pleased to see that the Committee has endorsed many of the points made by IHPN in our written and oral evidence, including:
– The need for much greater detail and scrutiny of the proposed “best value” test for NHS procurement
– Proper protection of patients rights to choose put on a statutory basis; and
– Safeguards against price competition resulting from changes to the national tariff
“Throughout the report the Committee is clear that without further development the legislative proposals risk introducing unintended consequences and could even lead to the NHS becoming a ‘protectionist monopoly provider’. We look forward to working with the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and other stakeholders to ensure that the eventual proposals deliver the best possible outcomes for patients and taxpayers.”