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Monitor seeks comment on its findings in relation to the conduct of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly NHS Primary Care Trust

Monitor is seeking the views of local people on its findings in relation to the conduct of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Primary Care Trust (Cornwall PCT) following a complaint by an independent sector provider.

Monitor today published provisional findings in relation to the complaint made by St. Piran’s Healthcare Limited about Cornwall PCT’s commissioning of specialist inpatient mental health and learning disability services.

St. Piran's is the operator of Kryllas Manor, a 14 bed hospital in Falmouth, Cornwall, which provided services for adults with learning disabilities who required inpatient medical, psychiatric and nursing care. The facility closed in November 2010.

St. Piran's complained that Cornwall PCT breached the Principles and Rules of Co-operation and Competition by deciding not to commission specialist inpatient mental health and learning disability services from independent sector providers in Cornwall, and specifically from St. Piran's.

The Co-operation and Competition Panel (CCP), which is now part of Monitor, has provisionally found that:

  • Cornwall PCT did not decide not to commission specialist inpatient mental health and learning disability services from independent sector providers.
  • Cornwall PCT did make statements suggesting it had closed its mind to the possibility of commissioning services from Kryllas Manor. The main reason for Cornwall PCT's view was its objection to the type of services provided at Kryllas Manor (inpatient services) as it was the PCT's policy was to avoid inpatient placements for individuals with learning disabilities. 

The CCP examined Cornwall PCT’s decisions to refer patients to providers other than St Piran’s and did not identify an adverse effect on patients resulting from Cornwall PCT’s conduct.

Primary care trusts have ceased to exist as a result of recent health reforms but this case will serve as guidance for local commissioners and their approach to commissioning services.

Monitor invites interested parties to comment on the CCP's provisional findings before it completes its investigation and issues a final report.

Catherine Davies, Executive Director of Co-operation and Competition at Monitor, said: "We have investigated this complaint to establish whether patients missed out as a result of the PCT’s commissioning decisions.

"Today we have published our provisional findings in relation to Cornwall PCT’s commissioning of specialist inpatient mental health and learning disability services. We are seeking comments from local people, patients and representative groups on our provisional findings. Specifically, if you think that you, or a relative, may be affected by our findings, please contact us."

Notes to Editors

  • Submissions can be sent to Monitor: cooperationandcompetition@Monitor.gov.uk
  • A copy of Monitor's provisional report is available on its website, here.
  • The closing date for submissions is 28th May 2013 and Monitor will publish its final report on the case on 21st June 2013.
  • This case was commenced by the Co-operation and Competition Panel (CCP) in October 2012. In April 2013, the CCP became Monitor's Cooperation and Competition Directorate. More information on Monitor’s Co-operation and Competition Directorate can be found here.
  • As this case commenced before the reforms introduced by the Health and Social Care Act 2012, it has been considered under the Principles and Rules for Co-operation and Competition. In future, complaints concerning the conduct of commissioners will be considered by Monitor under the National Health Service (Procurement, Patient Choice and Competition) (No 2) Regulations 2013.
  • Monitor is the sector regulator of NHS-funded health care services. Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 its main duty is to protect and promote the interests of people who use health care services. Information about Monitor's new role can be found here.
  • Monitor is now on Twitter - follow us @MonitorUpdate.

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