The Competition Commission is launching a probe into the probity and independence of NHS services [HSJ 19 June 2012]. They have identified two areas where there may be a conflict of interest:
GPs referring patients into GP-owned services
triage services which decide whether to refer patients into their own secondary care
The issues do need exploring. Who are the best people to design services? And who are the best people to run them? To what extent can we trust individuals and organisations who have a vested financial interest? Are the systems under regulated, or overregulated?