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Private firms drop out of running in Darzi tender

Two leading private health companies have dropped out of the running after making it onto only the second shortlist to be revealed under the procurement of Lord Darzi's new network of polyclinics.

Sheffield PCT had named both Atos Healthcare and United Health as in the running to run a GP-led health centre in the city and the companies were among seven bids out of 14 original contenders.

But both firms declined to enter the next stage of the process, Pulse can reveal.

A spokesperson for Sheffield PCT confirmed the firms had withdrawn their bids, but said: ‘They did not give any reasons and are not under any obligation to do so.'

A spokesman for Unitedhealth refused to comment on the decision , while a spokesperson for Atos said: ‘We can confirm that Atos Healthcare has withdrawn its interest and cannot comment further at this stage.'

Sheffield PCT is only the second trust to publically reveal its Invitation to Tender shortlist, the final stage of the tender process.

In May, local GPs in Bedfordshire beat off competition from the private sector to be chosen as preferred bidder for the first GP-led health centre contract awarded under Lord Darzi's nationwide tender process.

Government ministers have courted private firms to increase competition among GPs Government ministers have courted private firms to increase competition

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