NHS economic regulator Monitor has published a draft Commissioner Requested Services and Protected Services Guidance for consultation.
This document details the process commissioners have to follow to decide which NHS services are designated as Commissioner Requested Services (CRS) and Protected Services (PS), a new two-stage identification process to ensure continuity of vital services.
Services designated as CRS are those that commissioners believe would need protecting in the event of provider failure.
Protected Services are those for which there are no alternative providers and therefore need to be kept running in the event of provider failure.
A PS will only be formally identified once that provider is in special administration. Once a provider becomes financially distressed, Monitor will fund a Contingency Planning Team to identify protected services and help them.
Monitor policy director Jason Mann said: “The guidance is an important part of the continuity of service framework which is our primary means of making sure key services continue to be available to patients should a provider experience serious difficulties.”
The consultation on this guidance starts on 16 August and will run for 12 weeks until 8 November.