Competition in the NHS in England

25 April 2010
This policy briefing provides an update on key Department of Health guidance which affects competition in the NHS in England.
A number of policies directly or indirectly affect competition in the English NHS. On the provider side these include policies on choice, where choice includes the independent sector providers of health care, policies on central tendering from the independent sector (IS) such as the Independent Sector Treatment Centre programme and local policies about the circumstances when local NHS hospitals may purchase health care from independent sector providers in order to meet waiting time targets. On the commissioning side these include World Class Commissioning competences which include "stimulating the market" and the Transforming Community Services (TCS) programme which may include the independent sector in the provision of some services alongside a range of other organisational forms. The guidance from the DH is in addition to these initiatives and will further influence the degree of competition in the NHS in England. 

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