PATIENT CHOICE IS DENIED
The closure of an abstinence-based alcohol treatment course has triggered a threat of judicial review by activists who fear the health service is cutting back on funding for the independent sector within the NHS, reports Owen Bowcot of the Guardian newspaper.
The decision by the Nottinghamshire County primary care trust not to renew funding for treatment run jointly with the Alcohol Problem Advice Service has sparked a row over patient choice, with reminders about the number of rehabs which closed due to lack of patient referrals from NHS PCTs, DATs and other statutory commissioners of treatment.
The row erupted in the wake of the dispute over the health secretary's statement last autumn that inhouse NHS bodies should be the "preferred provider" for existing services. In practice, this is irrespetive of whether it can supply the required services, or to the required standards.
The NHS Partners Network – which represents private providers of NHS care – and the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations have submitted a joint complaint to the NHS's Cooperation and Competition Panel about the policy in relation to Great Yarmouth and Waveney PCT.
That trust originally invited NHS organisations, the private sector and voluntary organisations to bid to run its community health services but subsequently blocked bids from the private and voluntary sectors, saying it would now "only be able to accept bids from NHS organisations".
Click here to read the Guardian article.