To ask the Secretary of State for Health, for what reasons NHS England (a) proposed and (b) abandoned the introduction of a soft market testing exercise as part of its specialised commissioning prioritisation process in September 2016.
7 November 2016
During September and October 2016 NHS England undertook a soft market testing exercise with suppliers to inform the specialised commissioning prioritisation process. The exercise was very well supported and NHS England gained valuable insight of current market conditions associated with the policies under consideration.
In the run-up to the Clinical Priorities Advisory Group meetings a considerable amount of information was shared with suppliers for comment, in terms of both clinical and financial assessment. The majority of suppliers took up this opportunity to contribute to the process and engaged positively with NHS England.
NHS England had also planned to use an electronic portal during the soft market exercise. However, in view of the volume and range of responses to the information shared, it was decided on this occasion that it would be more beneficial to allow suppliers to volunteer any market intelligence through correspondence and meetings.