Document demands repeal of 2012 legislation on automatic tendering of care contracts
'NHS leaders want Theresa May to scrap Conservative legislation that forces the tendering of contracts for care, in a move which could dramatically reduce privatisation of key health services.
In the latest long-term plan, which maps out the NHS’s future over the next 10 years, Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England, demands that the prime minister repeals significant key sections of the Health and Social Care Act 2012.
The document, which Downing Street has endorsed, warns that the legislation, which was pushed through by the then health secretary, Andrew Lansley, despite huge opposition, is damaging the NHS and stopping it from making vital improvements to the care patients receive. It outlines how Lansley’s shake-up has damaged the NHS, which May has previously acknowledged.
If she agrees to unwind some of the most contentious sections of the act, it would mean “the end of automatic tendering” in the health service, said a senior NHS source. It would also means that firms such as Virgin Care, which has won more than £2bn in contracts from the NHS over the last five years and holds more than 400 of them, could no longer mount a legal challenge to a decision that went against the Richard Branson company.
The 2012 act obliges NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in England to tender out any contract worth £615,278 or more. This has led to a huge increase in the number of NHS contracts awarded to profit-driven firms such as Virgin Care and Care UK.'
Read more: NHS chiefs tell Theresa May it is time to curb privatisation