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Independent sector schemes expanded

The Department of Health has announced the launch of three more independent sector treatment centres.

The government has approved two schemes in Greater Manchester and one in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and they will now go forward to financial close.

This will bring the total number of independent sector schemes in phase two to 10, seven of which have already started to deliver patient services.

The Department of Healht has confirmed that independent sector provision will be procured locally in the future rather than centrally.

Health Minister Ben Bradshaw said: “The independent sector is providing NHS patients with fast access to high quality treatment and diagnostic services, offering greater choice, driving down waiting times and galvanising the NHS to raise its game.

“We are committed to independent sector involvement in the NHS where it meets local needs, offers value of money and benefits local patients.

“it is right that in the future local NHS will commission independent sector providers, to ensure faster procurement of services that reflect local needs.”

NHS Chief Executive David Nicholson said: “The independent sector continues to play an important role in delivering services for the NHS, helping to ensure that we carry on improving our ability to provide faster and more efficient services - which is what our patients expect.”

Department of Health