Hampshire primary care trust has appointed a new director of commissioning - on secondment from commissioning firm Humana.

Hampshire PCT was named last week as one of the trusts that will pilot the use of private companies to support commissioning, as part of the government's framework for procuring external support for commissioners (FESC).

It has appointed Roger Hymas, Humana's strategy adviser, as its director of commissioning on a two-year secondment. Humana has also been selected by the DoH as one of 14 companies that PCTs will be able to use to support commissioning (for more background, click here).

A spokeswoman for Humana insisted there would be no 'conflict of interest' between Mr Hymas's appointment and any future use of Humana's services by the PCT. 'There is a very, very tight legal arrangement in place should Humana ever want to submit a bid to do work for the PCT, which means that Mr Hymas would be excluded from that process,' she said.

Hampshire PCT chief executive Gareth Cruddace told HSJ that Mr Hymas would not be allowed to enter into any detailed discussion or specification planning if the organisation were to use the framework.

He said that Mr Hymas would not be allowed to feed any information about the trust's commissioning plans back to Humana without the 'explicit agreement' of the PCT.

Mr Cruddace said Hampshire PCT is exploring using FESC to help it commission specialist services from London teaching hospitals.