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Monitor to undertake first investigation under NHS purchasing rules

Health sector regulator Monitor has opened its first investigation to take place under NHS purchasing rules designed to protect patient interests.

Thornbury Radiosurgery Centre has complained about purchasing decisions taken by NHS England and its predecessor body North of England Specialised Commissioning Group in Yorkshire and Humber.

Monitor will consider whether decisions made before 1 April 2013 breach the Principles and Rules for Cooperation and Competition, and whether decisions made after 1 April breach the NHS (Procurement, Patient Choice and Competition) regulations which replaced them.

Thornbury, which is owned by BMI Healthcare Ltd and Medical Equipment Solutions and based in Sheffield, provides radiosurgery services such as Gamma Knife surgery which treats lesions or tumours inside the brain.

Monitor will now gather information from Thornbury Radiosurgery Centre and other relevant organisations including NHS England and review the evidence before deciding how to proceed.

Catherine Davies, Director of Co-operation and Competition at Monitor said:

"Following a complaint by Thornbury Radiosurgery Centre we are investigating whether rules have been breached in the procurement of radiosurgery services.

The investigation is at an early stage and Monitor has not yet reached a view as to whether there has been any breach of the rules. We are now seeking further information from the organisations involved. If we find that a breach has occurred we will investigate whether patient interests have been negatively affected by these decisions."

Notes to Editors

  • For further information please contact Isabella Sharp, Media Relations Manager (isabella.sharp@monitor.gov.uk, 020 7340 2442)
  • 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 them. Information about Monitor’s role can be found here.
  • The notice of initiation of investigation can be found here. Monitor will now gather information and review the evidence before deciding how to proceed.   
  • In Yorkshire and Humber the predecessor body to NHS England was the North of England specialist commissioning group.
  • The National Health Service (Procurement, Patient Choice and Competition) (No 2)  Regulations 2013 were introduced as part of the changes made through the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and came into force on 1 April 2013.
  • Monitor has published draft guidance for consultation on the application of the Procurement, Patient Choice and Competition Regulations and our approach to enforcement under them.
  • The Cooperation and Competition Panel previously published guidance on the Principles and Rules relating to procurement of NHS funded services. On 1 April the CCP became the Cooperation and Competition Directorate of Monitor.
  • Monitor is now on Twitter - follow us @MonitorUpdate


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