The Government is set to turn its back on the preferred provider policy it inherited and to introduce any willing provider models instead.
In a recent House of Lords primary care debate, Earl Howe, under-secretary of state for health said: ‘ A damaging recent development has been the introduction of (NHS) preferred provider; in effect, preferring adequate care delivered directly by NHS organisations over excellent care provided by others. We will encourage any willing provider to compete to provide the best outcomes for patients.’
Former health secretary, Andy Burnham, announced moves to make the NHS the ‘preferred provider’ last year. |Under any willing provider, several approved providers can offer a service to patients at the same time but have no guarantee of numbers they will treat.
Also revealed in the debate were plans for a consultation document on GP commissioning arrangements containing significant detail on the roles and responsibilities for organisations, following the publication of the white paper due out before the summer recess.
Earl Howe, said while commissioning would be led by GPs this was not about ‘turning GPs into managers’.
‘It is about placing the financial power to change health services in the hands of those NHS professionals whom the public most trust. Giving more responsibility and control over commissioning budgets should help GPs consider the financial consequences of their clinical decisions.’