Commissioning groups to get help from private firms

Several private companies have been approved to provide support services to NHS in England as part of a new procurement procedure.

Through the Commissioning Support Lead Provider Framework and what the NHS calls a ‘rigorous’ process, it has identified a host of third party firms to provide up to £5 billion of commissioning support services.

Leading the pack is UK business management firm Capita Business Services, along with Mouchel and Optum (part of United Health) who sit among a framework upon which CCGs are expected to call on for support in areas such as outsourcing, finance, contracting, service redesign and drug procurement.

It is predicted that between £3-5 billion of services will be utilised through the arrangement by April 2016, as CCGs need to re-procure many of their support services by this date in order to comply with European Union procurement law.

Bob Ricketts who is the director of Commissioning Support Services, says: “I’m delighted about the range of quality providers that have made it onto the framework. I genuinely believe that these organisations have brought together the best services in the market to offer commissioners everything they need to deliver the vision of the Five Year Forward View.”

This forward view was published in October last year and sets out a future vision of the NHS. It has been developed by the partner organisations that deliver and oversee health and care services including NHS England.

Ricketts adds that local commissioners have been asking for a simplified approach to choosing and changing their commissioning support provider, and that this new set up will cut a typical procurement process down to only three months, thus “making the burden of re-procuring their commissioning support requirements as small as possible”.

In a statement, Andy Parker who is the chief executive of Capita, comments: “Capita’s experience and breadth of support services position us strongly to secure contracts and deliver services that will provide effective support to CCGs. We are committed to supporting the NHS in enhancing its efficiency and delivering the best experience and care for patients.”

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