Private firm is first to commission services for a PCT

A private firm has taken control of commissioning healthcare on behalf of a PCT for the first time under a DoH commissioning support programme.

Over the next three years, UnitedHealth UK will be employed by Northamptonshire tPCT to assess the needs of local people and commission health services.

In October 2007, the government announced its Framework for Procuring External Support for Commissioners (FESC) which identified 14 companies, including UnitedHealth, which PCTs could use to improve commissioning.

UnitedHealth UK is a division of the global company that runs a small number of practices in the UK and health insurance in the US.

The company is banned from bidding to provide services in Northamptonshire to avoid a conflict of interest, a spokesman for Northamptonshire tPCT said.

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