20 Nov 2023
by Policy, Practice and Innovation Team

The Provider Selection Regime is a proposed new set of rules to govern the arrangement of healthcare services in England. Regulations implementing these rules are currently being considered by Parliament.

The Provider Selection Regime would see a move away from the expectation of competitive procurement in all circumstances and towards collaboration across the health and care system. 

Subject to the agreement of Parliament, the PSR is intended to come into force on 1 January 2024. The draft Health Care Services (Provider Selection Regime) Regulations 2023 (PSR regulations) were introduced into Parliament on 19 October 2023.

If agreed by Parliament, the PSR will be a set of new rules to be followed by relevant authorities when procuring healthcare services in England. Relevant authorities are NHS England, ICBs, NHS trusts and foundation trusts, and local authorities and combined authorities. 

Healthcare services in scope of the PSR are defined in the PSR regulations and are further explained in the draft statutory guidance. A list of common procurement vocabulary codes (CPV) is included in the PSR regulations.  

The PSR will not apply to the procurement of goods or non-health care services. This means that social care services are not in scope of the PSR.

However, where a service being procured involves healthcare services and other goods or services (for example, social care services), it may be considered a ‘mixed procurement’ if it meets the requirements for mixed procurement (in accordance with Regulation 3 of the PSR regulations).

The mixed procurement requirements are that:

  • the main subject-matter of the contract is in-scope health care services; and 
  • the relevant authority is of the view that the other goods or services could not reasonably be supplied under a separate contract.

This means that commissioners (NHS bodies and local or combined authorities) will need to follow different rules when commissioning social care services only, and when commissioning social care or other services alongside health care services within scope of a PSR mixed procurement.

Social care providers may therefore want to familiarise themselves with the PSR processes, and in particular the mixed-procurement requirements. 

Social care providers (either publicly or privately-owned) are not relevant authorities so they do not need to follow the PSR when they are procuring services, for example, when sub-contracting.

There is more information in the NHS England » The Provider Selection Regime: draft statutory guidance.

Our thanks to CPA members Care England, whose briefing provided most of the above text, with a few edits from the Homecare Association.

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