Health Service Procurement Is a Mess – the Military Has Answers – Huffington Post
Chief Executive of Advanced Oncotherapy
Despite reform, the NHS’ procurement process still delivers poor value for money, stifles medical innovation and prevents new entrants to the market. It’s time to look to the military for solutions.
In 2002, the then Labour Health Secretary, Alan Milburn, announced plans for the establishment of Foundation Trusts. Seen as a radical shake up of the health service, by granting increased autonomy to local Trusts, Foundation status was seen as a mechanism to introduce much needed competition between hospitals. In turn, it was determined this competition would drive up clinical standards and curb wasteful spending, while also improving the managerial oversight of the health service as a whole. This internal ‘synthetic’ market was designed to incorporate the strengths of private healthcare provision, while retaining state control..
While Foundation Trusts have undoubtedly been successful in improving patient care and curbing wasteful spending in some areas, the system has also brought with it inherent disadvantages. One example of this is the procurement of high value medical equipment..
The news of the Health Department’s investment has already been superseded by developments in the private sector. In January it was announced that a pioneering private sector deal would see the delivery of a technically superior, more compact and lower cost proton therapy facility in the heart of London’s Harley Street. The next generation facility is set to come on stream a full year earlier than either of the two NHS centres..
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