A merger that would have created the largest provider organisation in England has been shelved.
Private providers of health service funded care will be granted access to the NHS Pension Scheme under proposals announced today.
The chief executive of the Office of Fair Trading has admitted there is scope for “significant improvement” in the way the competition authorities that have taken over NHS merger controls engage with hospital trusts.
The Office of Fair Trading has given merger control clearance for a pathology services joint venture between two London foundation trusts and a private sector provider.
Sir David Nicholson has told MPs the suggestion he changed his opinion to fit the facts was “beyond response” during a heated discussion on the pay of senior health service managers.
The author of an influential review of pathology services has expressed disappointment at the slow pace of reform but said he had not yet “given up hope” it can be achieved.
How HSJ has covered Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals and Poole Hospital foundation trusts failed merger attempt.
Monitor has moved to address concerns that competition rules are thwarting much needed service reconfiguration. It follows warnings that clashing regulations are leaving trusts trying to merge in a “catch-22” situation.
New primary care providers are being stifled by GP commissioner hostility, and the inability of existing practices to sell their businesses, the health sector regulator has been told.
The proposed merger of two Dorset foundation trusts has been blocked by the Competition Commission after it concluded there was insufficient evidence patients would benefit from the plans.
Fresh evidence has emerged of the impact competition probes are having on plans to reconfigure services after Office of Fair Trading investigations were cited as barriers to two major pathology reorganisations.
The Foundation Trust Network has urged Jeremy Hunt to prioritise trusts’ financial and clinical sustainability over concerns relating to competition.
Monitor is in with talks with the Office of Fair Trading to try to prevent trusts which want to merge from facing drawn out inquiries under competition law, HSJ has been told.
Health minister Daniel Poulter has said the government is listening to criticism of competition rules which have been blamed for thwarting much needed hospital reconfiguration projects.
Labour would force clinical commissioning groups to include a wider range of clinicians and reverse the increased private patient income cap, shadow health secretary Andy Burnham has told HSJ.
NHS England’s chief executive has said the government may need to change the law because competition rules are standing in the way of improvements to NHS services.
Monitor has concluded that quality improvements borne of a recent reconfiguration of acute services in Bristol are not sufficient to outweigh the loss of patient choice resulting from the “merger”. The competition regulator said the decision would have “important considerations” for the “wider health system”.
Former health minister Paul Burstow has told HSJ he is concerned about the behaviour of the Competition Commission and Office of Fair Trading following the Health Act 2012 coming into force.
NHS England has delayed the publication of its choice and competition framework amid a “paucity of evidence” of the benefit to patients.
A number of private providers are likely to take complaints to the NHS’s new competition regulator Monitor over the next three years, the chief executive officer of Ramsay Health Care UK warned last week.
NHS Competition Resources
Ten pieces of advice on how to become an AQP organisation
Explaining the impact of the TCS programme
Analysing the OFT’s arguments
Challenging traditional methods of healthcare procurement
Competition and integration can co-exist to provide a seamless health service
Providers are missing opportunities to promote themselves