Camden Council is to raise concerns with the Health Secretary over the lack of public awareness that new GP contracts can be awarded to private companies under current procedures.
The Council’s health scrutiny committee is to write to Secretary of State for Health Alan Johnson expressing concerns over a consultation process that led to Camden Primary Care Trust (PCT) awarding three new GP contracts to United Health Europe, a private healthcare provider.
At a recent meeting the committee heard that it would have been unlawful and anticompetitive for Camden PCT to have excluded certain providers from bidding for the contracts.
The Council wants PCTs to engage the public in a debate about these issues before any new GP contracts are awarded in the future, in particular to ask for residents’ views on awarding contracts to private health providers during consultation.
It will ask the Secretary of State to learn from the experience of Camden’s patients.