Practice-based commissioners will not have go out to open tender 'in many cases' when switching where they send patients, the government's guidance on commissioning was expected to rule today.

Practice-based commissioners will not have go out to open tender 'in many cases' when switching where they send patients, the government's guidance on commissioning was expected to rule today.

The guidance, Health Reform in England: commissioning framework, will 'clarify the approach to tendering' for services proposed under the flagship policy, which it acknowledges has 'held back development of PBC in some areas'.

According to excerpts seen by HSJ, the Department of Health will rule that 'in many cases' services that are commissioned by practices can be 'delivered through existing contracts without the need for tender'. The DoH will also today be seeking comments on a 'proposed code of conduct for PBC' which promises to make explicit the accountability arrangements and freedoms for practices.

The DoH will also be seeking views on:

  • A model contract for hospital services that 'clearly apportions responsibilities and risks, incentives, performance, and supports patient choice and payment by results'.
  • 'Community petitions', first outlined in the white paper Your Health, Your Care, Your Sayas a way of creating local patient accountability to force PCTs to tender out poorly performing services.

The guidance is also expected to explain how commissioners can use 'open tendering where provision is unavailable or not to the required standard', so 'any willing provider can compete'.

The document will set out a requirement that PCTs publish a 'prospectus' to reveal the 'results of local needs assessment, success in meeting those needs' and a 'focus' for discussions with providers about future services.

In December the DoH will publish a second commissioning framework setting out how PCTs should commission services jointly for people with long-term conditions and mental health problems, and how to commission for health and well-being.