Intended for healthcare professionals


Monitor failed to interview a single GP over accusation that GPs weren’t promoting choice, CCG chief says

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 29 September 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5916
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

England’s health sector regulator Monitor has dealt a blow to the Spire private health group by ruling against its complaint that anticompetitive practice by the NHS made it lose patients.

However, in a judgment that has drawn criticism from antiprivatisation campaigners, Monitor found that two NHS clinical commissioning groups did not do enough to ensure that patients were offered a choice of hospitals for routine surgery.

Clive Peedell, of the National Health Action Party, which campaigns against NHS privatisation, said that the “double edged” verdict showed that government legislation on competition was in a “complete mess.”

Amanda Doyle, chief clinical officer of NHS Blackpool CCG, one of the pair told by Monitor to be more “proactive” on patient choice, was scathing about the judgment. Doyle said, “It is somewhat concerning that in their [Monitor’s] search for evidence to demonstrate whether choice was promoted and offered in GP surgeries, not a single GP, practice manager, or patient was spoken to by the investigating team, nor was a single practice visited.

“Placing …

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