Monitor is to investigate the “barriers to a fair playing field” for providers of NHS-funded services.
The regulator has launched an independent review at the request of the secretary of state for health, which will “examine whether there are matters that mean not all NHS-funded healthcare providers operate on an equal footing”.
Monitor said the review would begin with a “very broad scope” that would cover all types and sizes of providers and look at any problems raised, before identifying possible solutions for the benefit of patients.
“We will be looking to gather a range of views from providers, commissioners, patients and experts to inform our investigations into the factors which enable providers to operate on an equal footing, and to advance our thinking about how a system which best promotes and protects the interests of patients can be achieved,” said Monitor chairman David Bennett (pictured
Monitor said a range of issues had already been raised as areas which might prevent a fair playing field. These include: corporation and value added tax; NHS staff contracts and pensions; access to capital; tendering and commissioning behaviours; and teaching and training for clinical staff.
The deadline for initial submissions is 6 July, with further timetable dates to be confirmed. The review will then report to the secretary of state for health in early 2013 and be published shortly afterwards in line with requirements under the Health & Social Care Act 2012.