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GP commissioners are not monitoring private contracts effectively, think tank says

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 21 April 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h2140
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

A think tank has questioned whether the NHS in England can monitor the safety and effectiveness of thousands of contracts outsourced to the private sector. The Centre for Health and the Public Interest said that new information from clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) raised fresh doubt over the handling of some 15 000 contracts.

These contracts were worth £9.3bn (€12.9bn; $13.9bn) in 2013-14. Only 16 of 181 CCGs that responded to a survey by the centre had imposed any financial sanctions on private providers, and only seven of 15 000 contracts had been terminated because of poor performance.

The centre said that few commissioners could show that they had carried out on-site inspections. It had put questions on monitoring of contracts to all 211 CCGs in England under the Freedom of Information Act and published a report on its findings on 19 April.1

It said that, given the complexity of monitoring contracts, regular site visits to private …

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