The Provider Selection Regime (PSR) is set to come into force on January 1, 2024, introducing new rules for procuring healthcare services in England. As a supplier, you need to understand these changes and how they may impact you.
When Does The PSR Take Effect?
The PSR will come into force on January 1, 2024, replacing current healthcare procurement regulations like the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. The PSR is outlined in the Health Care Services (Provider Selection Regime) Regulations 2023, introduced in Parliament on October 19, 2023. Until the new regime takes effect, relevant authorities must follow existing procurement rules.
What’s The Purpose Of The PSR?
The overarching goals of the PSR are to introduce more flexibility into the provider selection process, encourage collaboration across health systems, and ensure procurement decisions are made in patients’ best interests. Specifically, the PSR outlines new direct award processes, the most suitable provider, and competitive procurement processes authorities can use to select providers of healthcare services.
How Will The New Processes Work?
The PSR introduces three main procurement processes authorities can utilise:
- Direct award processes. PSR presents three direct award processes (A, B and C) that allow authorities to extend contracts with existing providers without a competitive procurement in certain situations. Process A applies when only one provider can supply the health services. Process B allows awarding contracts to multiple existing providers that meet the requirements if patient choice exists. Finally, Process C allows extending a contract with a satisfactory incumbent provider if arrangements are not changing significantly, subject to assessments against key and basic supplier criteria, a 30-day standstill period, and contract award notices. All direct award pathways require publishing contract notices within 30 days. They provide simpler avenues for retaining existing providers where appropriate.
- The most suitable provider process involves identifying and selecting the best provider without a competitive tender based on key criteria. There are notice and standstill period requirements.
- A competitive process requires authorities to assess provider submissions against predefined award criteria through a tender. There are also notice and standstill requirements for transparency.
Providers must meet basic selection criteria around suitability, economic and financial standing, and technical/professional abilities in all cases.
What This Means For Suppliers
As a supplier in the healthcare services market, it’s vital you closely review the PSR guidance to determine how these new processes could impact your business. Key steps will include:
- Evaluating what selection criteria you can best meet to remain an attractive provider
- Understanding notice and standstill requirements to avoid missing opportunities
- Considering where collaboration with other providers could strengthen your bids
- Preparing for a potential additional tendering activity
Staying abreast of the pending changes introduced by the Provider Selection Regime will ensure your business is ready to adapt when the new rules take effect in 2024. If you are interested in healthcare procurement, explore our comprehensive article, “All About the £480m NHS IT Deal“, for an in-depth look into the Federated Data Platform procurement process.
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