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CCG ‘tames’ private sector


20 March 2012

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Secure contracts stop "greedy" private providers from taking advantage of their new increased involvement in the NHS, a commissioning GP has claimed.

Dr Kosta Manis from Bexley CCG said the idea of no private sector input in the NHS is "utopian", thanks to the "massive deficit" between patient expectations and what the state can afford.

Far from fearing private providers, Dr Manis said he has found a way of taming their input.

Secure contracts stop "greedy" private providers from taking advantage of their new increased involvement in the NHS, a commissioning GP has claimed.

Dr Kosta Manis from Bexley CCG said the idea of no private sector input in the NHS is "utopian", thanks to the "massive deficit" between patient expectations and what the state can afford.

Far from fearing private providers, Dr Manis said he has found a way of taming their input.

"There are two types of private providers, the greedy ones and the intelligent ones," he said.

"We have managed to completely control the private sector as the contracts we drawn up do not allow greedy private providers to take advantage."

Dr Manis also said CCGs stand to reap financial rewards through clever "manipulation" of the private sector.

"Intelligent providers know they will only start to see profit in the last year of the three-year contract," he said.

"The trick is how to manipulate those years and when your provider is in profit.

"By getting them to reduce their cut and commission, you can end up sharing their third year profit."

Paul Zollinger-Read, Medical Advisor and Clinical Lead on Primary Care at the King's Fund, agreed solid contracts hold the key to getting the best from the private sector.

He urged the NHS Commissioning Board to focus on being a resource for CCGs to help them build the skills to generate contracts, rather than prioritising its regulatory and performance management duties, if commissioning GPs are to secure the best services and outcomes.

Bexley CCG has been working with private firm McKinsey, who declined to respond Dr Manis' comments when asked by GPB.

By Louise Naughton

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