Commenting on the article in Pulse about a possible extension by NHS England to the contract with AccuRx, Graham Kendall, Director of the Digital Healthcare Council, said:
“The DHSC, NHS England, NHSX, NHS Digital and the Cabinet Office have all been clear that open competition is the preferred way to secure the best services that for patients, clinicians and the taxpayer. Digital Healthcare Council members agree with that approach.
“We understand why contracts were rushed through at the height of the Covid crisis last year with little or no competition, but it’s been clear for many months that the current arrangements were due to lapse. It therefore beggars belief that existing contracts look set to be rolled over without open competition just at the point that the new Digital Care Services catalogue is about to be launched.
“Rolling over incumbent contracts without competition will deny local GPs a meaningful choice in how they provide remote and online consultations, runs contrary to the spirit of local decision making set out in the recent White Paper and sends deeply damaging signals to digital healthcare suppliers.”