Private patient units

Private patient unit (PPU) projects are likely to be a source of significant growth. It is widely expected that the trend of NHS hospitals seeking to establish or expand their PPU offerings will continue, particularly as the Health and Social Care Act 2012 has removed the limit on the volume of private profits earned by NHS hospitals.

In its Report on the Private Health Care Investigation (April 2014), the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) concluded that in circumstances where the award of a PPU contract to a private hospital operator constituted a merger situation falling within the Enterprise Act 2002 (EA 2002), competition concerns could be adequately addressed.

However, the CMA went on to say that certain recent arrangements had been structured in such a way that they did not constitute a merger situation. As a consequence, the CMA did not have jurisdiction to review the award and therefore competition concerns were not adequately scrutinised…

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