Published: 01/07/2004, Volume II3, No. 5912 Page 6

One of the fundamental concepts of the Department of Health's independent treatment centre programme is to create a change in the NHS marketplace.DoH commercial director Ken Anderson, who is leading on the ITC programme, told delegates that the idea behind the programme was not only to increase capacity.Mr Anderson said that the programme was intended to change working practices, add additional staffing capacity in the NHS and 'create leverage so as to bargain with clinicians'.However Hammersmith Hospitals trust chief executive Derek Smith warned that the programme was being driven by the political need to guarantee that the work and choice agenda are delivered and waiting lists are lowered 'even though there is already over-capacity in the NHS'.