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Raft of second wave ISTCs cancelled

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Health secretary Alan Johnson has announced that six second wave of Independent Sector Treatment Centres will not go ahead.
On the advice of the director general of the NHS procurement directorate, Mr Johnson announced that the six schemes would not provide acceptable value for money because the local NHS had improved capacity to meet patients’ needs.

A contract with private firm Care UK for provision of diagnostic services in the West Midlands is also to be terminated because only 5% of its capacity is being utilised. However, a further 10 ISTCs have been approved.

The services that will not go ahead are diagnostics services in north east Yorkshire and north Lincolnshire, the north east and the south east. Elective service contracts have been cancelled in Norfolk and the New Forest, along with clinical assessment and treatment services in Cumbria and Lancashire.

But Mr Johnson also announced the creation of an Independent Sector Procurement Forum, signalling a continued commitment to involving private sector health providers in the running of the NHS.

He said: ‘The forum will be advisory and act as a channel for the market to communicate and advise the department on PCT procurement policies and practices.’
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