The NHS as ‘preferred provider’ policy is now in what HSJ editor, Richard Vize describes as its “death throes”. The policy promised existing NHS providers preference over alternatives – even if it meant worst service for patients.
Legally, it threatened a breach of European procurement law and so it seems the move had been reversed. The preferred provider as not just a legal worry however. It had potential to compromise quality of care, it is also disheartening. It signified a lack of faith from our own government in the NHS to win people’s faith without weighted dice.
Finally we hope that everyone is agreed, patients are entitled to choice. Preference should only ever mean that of the patients’.