The NHS operating framework for 2008/09

The NHS operating framework for 2008/09 was published on 13 December 2007. It included a requirement that, by 1 April 2009, all primary care trusts (PCTs) would need to create an internal separation of their operational provider services and agree service level agreements for these services based on the same business and financial rules as applied to all other providers.

During the 2008/09 financial year, PCTs were required to review their requirements for community services and to consider a range of options for the provision of services.

As part of the framework, the Department of Health published Principles and rules for cooperation and competition (PRCC). PRCC was intended as guidance for system managers, commissioners and providers on the expected behaviours and rules governing cooperation and competition.

As well as outlining plans to develop an independent competition panel, the document set out 10 principles that would apply from April 2008.

Key provisions included:

  • a requirement that commissioners should contract with the provider best able to meet the needs of their local population
  • both commissioners and providers were required to foster patient choice
  • mergers and acquisitions would only be acceptable when they were in the best interest of patients and taxpayers and sufficient choice and competition remained.
Source(s)

Department of Health.
The NHS in England; The operating framework for 2008/9.
Department of Health; 2007.

Department of Health.
Principles and rules for cooperation and competition.
Department of Health; 2010.