Layla Moran, Lib Dem MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, yesterday pressed on the Government the need to consult local NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) as a matter of course during procurement processes.
Her question to the Minister, Seema Kennedy MP, comes after it came to light that the Oxfordshire CCG was not consulted at all on the controversial decision to award the PET-CT scanning contract in the Thames Valley to private firm InHealth. As part of a nationwide procurement process, the PET-CT decision bypassed the need for accountability to local bodies.
In yesterday’s oral questions, where Anneliese Dodds and Ed Vaizey also raised the issue, Layla said: “Surely the reason we have got to this point is that the clinical commissioning group was never actually consulted on what was right for the local population. How can the Minister ensure that, in future, centralised procurement services and local CCGs are always consulted as a matter of course?”
Moran, together with other Oxfordshire MPs, met with Kennedy yesterday afternoon to discuss why the Department for Health and Social Care refused to accept Oxfordshire Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s (HOSC) statutory referral over the procurement decision. This would have given the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care the final decision on whether to award InHealth the contract.
Commenting, Layla said:
“Our local CCG was never consulted on NHS England’s decision to privatise the outstanding PET-CT cancer scanning service in our area.
“It is so important that they are consulted as a matter of course on all procurement decisions in the NHS – they know what’s right for the local population.
“The Government needs to change the rules on how these nationwide processes work to ensure that the end result is best for local communities.”