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The National Health Service (Procurement, Patient Choice and Competition) Regulations 2013

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Qualification of providers

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7.  (1)  For the purpose of taking a decision referred to in paragraph (2), a relevant body must establish and apply transparent, proportionate and non-discriminatory criteria.

(2) The decisions are—

(a)determining which providers qualify to be included on a list from which a patient is offered a choice of provider in respect of first outpatient appointment with a consultant or a member of a consultant’s team,

(b)determining which providers qualify to be included on a list from which a patient is otherwise offered a choice of provider,

(c)determining which providers to enter into a framework agreement with, and

(d)selecting providers to bid for potential future contracts to provide health care services for the purposes of the NHS.

(3) When taking a decision referred to in paragraph (2)(a), a relevant body may not refuse to include a provider on a list where that provider meets the criteria established by the relevant body for the purposes of that decision.

(4) When taking a decision referred to in paragraph (2)(b), a relevant body may not refuse to include a provider on a list where that provider meets the criteria established by the relevant body for the purposes of that decision, except where to do so would mean exceeding a limit set by the relevant body on the number of providers to be included on the list.

(5) When taking a decision referred to in paragraph (2)(c), a relevant body may not refuse to enter into a framework agreement with a provider that meets the criteria established by the relevant body for the purposes of that decision, except where to do so would mean exceeding a limit set by the relevant body on the number of providers who are to enter into the framework agreement.

(6) When taking a decision referred to in paragraph (2)(d), a relevant body may not refuse to select a provider that meets the criteria established by the relevant body for the purposes of that decision, except where to do so would mean exceeding a limit set by the relevant body on the number of selected providers.

(7) In this regulation, a “framework agreement” means an agreement or other arrangement between one or more relevant bodies and one or more providers which establishes the terms under which the provider will enter into one or more contracts, for the provision of health care services for the purposes of the NHS, with a relevant body in the period during which the framework agreement applies.

(8) This regulation does not apply to the extent that any relevant criteria are laid down by or under any enactment.

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