Competition risks for GP federations and super practices

The trend towards delivering GP services at increased scale seems to have gathered pace over the past few months. In January 2016, HSJ tracked how GP federations and other large scale GP practices have been forming across England. It identified 268 ‘at scale’ GP organisations operating across 171 CCGs, with a further 20 in the process…

Community Pharmacy: entry controls and industry concentration

Community pharmacies are at the centre of much interesting work in terms of delivering more care to NHS patients, and taking some of the strain off other parts of the healthcare system. Pharmacy Voice has been established to represent the sector, and there are numerous initiatives at an industry and provider level. Lloyds Pharmacy, for example,…

Does coordinated action against staffing agencies breach competition law?

In the last few days I have written about using competition rules to address ‘egregious’ pricing by agencies that supply temporary staff to the NHS, and the possibility that capping agency payments may not be effective in reducing labour costs for the NHS. I thought it was worth completing the trifecta by considering whether the NHS’s plans…

Will capping agency rates save the NHS money?

Amongst the talk in recent days of capping the ‘egregious’ prices charged to NHS organisations by staffing agencies, it isn’t clear to me whether the discussion is about capping the amount paid to temporary staff, the fees charged by agencies, or perhaps both. The critcism of agency behaviour seems to imply that the capping should be…

Are staffing agencies ripping off the NHS?

HSJ reports today that there “is now a clear case for clamping down on ‘egregious prices’ being charged by some staffing agencies, says Simon Stevens in his report to the NHS England board”. At least some of the increase in temporary staffing costs has no doubt been caused by clinicians leaving permanent positions at NHS organisations…