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Matt Hancock to rule on controversial outsourcing of NHS scanning services

A NHS Trust has asked health secretary Matt Hancock to intervene in controversial plans to award CT scanning services to a private company.

A NHS England (NHSE) procurement process for the contract to run the Thames Valley regional PET-CT scanning service saw InHealth awarded preferred bidder status over Oxford Unversity Hospitals NHS Trust’s existing scanning services.

OUHT wrote to the Oxfordshire Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) to ask it to consider the issue at a meeting in public.

The HOSC then decided to exercise its power to refer the matter to Matt Hancock amid fears that the outsourcing would lead to a two-tier service with some patients being scanned in mobile units in car parks.

The referral is the latest development in a long-running row between OUHT and NHSE over the scanning decision. A report in yesterday’s Guardian newspaper claimed that health service lawyers had threatened the trust with libel action in a bid to prevent it taking legal action against the move.

Dr Bruno Holthof, chief executive of Oxford University Hospitals, said: "I would like to thank the Oxfordshire HOSC for agreeing to our request to examine this issue.

"I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the many patients who have contacted us, HOSC and NHS England to say how much they value the current PET-CT service at the Churchill. We are grateful for their support and also that of our local MPs and our governors who have spoken out on this issue."

InHealth was unable to provide comment at the time of publication.

Posted on: 05/04/2019

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