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Price and competition in health care in England

17 March 2011
Price competition in the NHS in England is controversial and this briefing providers an overview of some of the evidence from the English NHS and discusses price competition as part of the broader framework of funding and financing.
The RCN is already concerned that current tariff setting, resulting in the fixed price used for some hospital activity, may not include sufficient funding for nursing and with the NHS Operating Framework allowing for some flexibility in the use of tariff the RCN continues to call for caution and for funding and staffing not to be allowed to fall below safe levels; this means coordinated action between the DH as it current sets tariff (and Monitor in future as it takes on this function), the CQC as the system regulator to look at staffing levels, and the RCN will continue it's own work on staffing. The RCN does not currently support price competition, but recognises that quality competition can bring benefits

If you have any comments or wish to contribute further, please email policy.international@rcn.org.uk