UK Veterinary Care – Competition Risk Assessment

Rapid consolidation in recent years has seen national chains of vet practices become established. These chains have built up strong local positions in several parts of the UK. Aldwych Partners considers that there is an increasing risk of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) reviewing further expansion by these chains. This could include acquisitions of…

A tough CMA review ahead for Sainsbury’s and Asda

The CMA, in fast-tracking its review of the Sainsbury’s/Asda merger to a detailed second phase, found that there was a realistic prospect of competition being lost in 463 local areas, and flagged at least seven ways in which consumers might be harmed by the merger. While these early findings need to be treated with caution,…

CMA clearance for child fostering mergers

Last year saw the CMA’s first review of a merger in child fostering services. These businesses place children with foster parents when a local authority cannot place a child using its own in-house service. The merger was cleared on the condition that services were divested in three regions. Now, with two fostering services businesses (Core…

Mental health: unintended effects of limiting out of area placements?

NHS mental health trusts could, according to a report in HSJ, face regulatory action for not reducing the time patients spend in units a long way from home (known as ‘out of area placements’). There is little to argue about with a policy that is aimed at ending by 2020/21 what are known in NHS-speak…

Competition from app-based GP services poses challenge for CMA

NHS England has announced the piloting of an app that allows patients to access a GP through their smartphone. GP services offered through the app will compete with existing bricks and mortar services, and represents a massive injection of competition into primary care services. Patient migration to the app-based service will leave existing GP practices…