NHS England has terminated a number of its block contracts including those with all the inner London private hospitals — established at the beginning of the covid outbreak, despite a new national framework not yet being in place. A senior private sector told HSJ that it had “come out the blue and [had] shocked” the providers.
The blocks agreements with the private sector are viewed as crucial in the NHS’s efforts to get a grip on its waiting list and spiralling numbers of people with very long waits.
NHSE told HSJ the terms of an interim arrangement, due to cover the period from now until a “re-procured national framework agreement” is put in place in the autumn, had not yet been agreed.
The NHS is also under significant pressure from ministers to drive down costs for the new deal. Even though the original deal involved the NHS paying cost price, those costs in areas like London appear to be proving a stumbling block.
Full story in the HSJ, 7 August 2020