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An updated 'Principles and rules for cooperation and competition (PRCC)'

The Department of Health updated the Principles and rules for cooperation and competition, first published in 2007, to take into account the coalition government's plans outlined in Equity and excellence: liberating the NHS.

While the 10 principles remained similar to those published in 2007, the role of choice and competition within the NHS was strengthened.

In 2007, one of the principles related to 'fostering choice'. In the revised guidelines, commissioners and providers would be required to promote patient choice with specific reference to the policy of 'any willing provider'. There was also a new requirement stating that commissioners and providers should not reach agreements that would restrict commissioner or patient choice against the interests of patients or taxpayers.

The document also outlined guidance to prevent individual providers from unreasonably refusing to supply services. It cited circumstances where established providers attempted to restrict choice or competition by refusing to accept or provide services.


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