Decisions over outsourcing in the NHS

Competitive tendering for contracts in the NHS is set to reduce significantly once the new framework for the procurement of health services – the Provider Selection Regime (PSR) – launches in January 2024. The new draft guidance outlining the PSR, published a few days ago, should consign to history the large-scale competitive tendering regime brought into being by the 2012 Health & Care Act.

According to NHS England the PSR is designed to be a “flexible and proportionate process for selecting providers of healthcare services” to allow “greater integration and collaboration across the system.”

As well as reducing the use of competitive tendering to choose providers, the new regime should make it easier for an existing provider to continue if they are performing to the satisfaction of the commissioning body.

The casualty of these changes, however, is transparency in the procurement process for those outside the system – the general public, with a much reduced requirement to publish procurement plans.

Full story in The Lowdown, 30 October 2023

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