At a recent meeting held in public, the board of the Wyre Forest Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), agreed NOT to tender out services to the private sector.
To the great satisfaction of members of the public present, board members approved the purchase of services from the current providers.
The controversial Health & Social Care Act is now forcing CCGs to go for competitive tendering, but the Wyre Forest board was persuaded that the existing providers were the most appropriate for the best integrated services and thus could avoid tendering.
If other CCGs could be persuaded to take the same approach to commissioning services, the coalition government’s hated potential privatisation of the NHS, pushed so forcefully by the Health and Social Care Act, could be halted in its tracks.
The first action point listed under the heading of practical steps you can take to save the NHS in “NHS SOS”, the splendid book by Jacky Davis and Raymond Tallis, is exactly relevant to this: “Attend CCG board meetings. Ask your CCG to adopt a pro-NHS code and to publish all their board papers, or explain where proposals are being withheld from public view.”