COMMERCIAL: A foundation trust has been referred to the Cooperation and Competition Panel by a private heart clinic.

Regent’s Park Heart Clinics referred Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals Foundation Trust to the panel, complaining that a process to award invasive cardiology services by the trust to incumbent provider InHealth had not been carried out transparently.

In its letter of complaint Regent’s Park said that “because the procurement was not conducted fairly or transparently” the trust had “not been able to determine the best value for money”.

The Wimbledon-based firm said InHealth had access to information on staffing, consumables and “information on the level of economic subsidy for providing private patient services in the proposed cardiac catheterisation laboratories” that it was denied.

“As a result the incumbent… were therefore in a privileged position to evaluate the degree of private patient subsidy that could be built into their business model,” the letter said.

It said Regent’s Park Heart Clinics could have “substantially” lowered its price for the NHS work if it enjoyed the same access to information.

The panel is due to adjudicate by 20 April.