The Department of Health is set to announce next week the list of private companies that have won a place on the government's national framework for procuring external support for commissioners, HSJ has learned.

According to an e-mail from the DoH sent to the successful companies, the nearly three-month delay in signing off and making public the list has been due to 'organisational issues regarding the implementation [of the framework]'.

A meeting between the 12 companies added to the framework and commercial director Chan Wheeler is scheduled for tomorrow, ahead of an announcement next week.

Following the publication of the list, Hillingdon primary care trust says it plans to issue a full business case and name a private provider it hopes will perform various commissioning functions on its behalf.

Companies likely to make it on to the list include BUPA, UnitedHealth, Tribal Group, Dr Foster, Health Dialog UK, management consultants McKinsey, US healthcare insurance company Humana, and South African healthcare insurer Discovery.

The framework will comprise three lists detailing companies that can provide support for PCTs under the headings 'micro', 'macro' and 'end-to-end'.

The work will cover four areas: assessment and planning; contracting and procurement; performance management, settlement and review; and patient and public engagement.