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Diagnostic preferred bidders named

1st August 2006

01082006_PETScan1.jpgThe Department of Health has named its five preferred bidders for six of its seven diagnostics contracts. 

Amicus InHealth, Atos Origin, BUPA, Mercury Healthcare and Alliance Medical have won preferred bidder status for the contracts worth a total of £1bn over 5 years.

The diagnostics contracts, which include procedures such as x-rays and ultra-sound scans, will be given to the private sector in a bid to help the NHS meet the government 18-week referral-to-treatment target by December 2008.  Earlier this month the DoH admitted that some NHS patients are still waiting more than two years from GP referral to hospital treatment.
 
While the privately managed extra capacity should help cut waiting times for diagnosis - which still run to five or six months in some parts of the country - there are concerns that it may uncover more conditions that need treatment. This could raise the demand for surgical and other interventions, thus making it harder for the NHS to meet its targets.

These latest private sector contracts have angered some health service unions who say the changes highlight the government’s “ideological preference? for the private sector.  The British Medical Association and the Royal College of Nursing have announced a summer-long campaign opposing the pace and direction of the government's reforms.

The preferred bidders have been named as;
London and East England – Amicus InHealth
South West – Atos Origin
South East – BUPA
West Midlands – Mercury Healthcare
North East – Alliance Medical

The contract for the North West is still under negotiation.


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Article Information

Title: Diagnostic preferred bidders named
Author: Sue Knights
Article Id: 584
Date Added: 1st Aug 2006

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