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Doctors say rewritten rules on competition do not go far enough

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f1634 (Published 12 March 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f1634
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1BMJ

The UK government has redrafted regulations on procurement, in an attempt to allay concerns raised by several medical bodies and MPs in the past few weeks that clinical commissioners would be forced to put out to competitive tender most of the services they wanted for their patients.

However, both the BMA and the Royal College of General Practitioners are still concerned that commissioners are not completely free to choose when to use competition and when not to.

The revised regulations, which were laid before parliament on 11 March, mean that the position on competition is unchanged from now, said the Department of Health—commissioners are able to offer contracts to a single provider where only that provider is capable of providing the services.

In explanatory notes, it said, “We have removed the …

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