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Reforms czar moves on

29th November 2006

The man behind the controversial independent treatment centres is set to leave the NHS to join a Swiss investment bank after three years as commercial director.

US-born Ken Anderson is largely credited with the outsourcing of billions of health service pounds, including the first wave of treatment centres run by the independent sector, which attracted bids from outside the UK.

Mr Anderson was also behind the outsourcing of NHS Logistics as well as negotiating a huge drop in the price the NHS pays for branded drugs.

There are now 22 operational centres for NHS patients, but despite his departure the NHS use of independent sector continues. A second wave of treatment centres worth £3bn in elective treatments is currently under negotiation and a £1bn contract for diagnostics nearing completion. A framework contract will also bring private providers into the commissioning of NHS care.

Health secretary Patricia Hewitt has said that local commissioners will soon negotiate contracts with the private sector, which has led to uncertainty over the future of the new treatment centres.

Suppliers are now waiting for his replacement to confirm the government's commitment.



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