In 2015/16 NHS South Kent Coast Clinical Commissioning Group invited organisations that provide hospital based treatment including for example general surgery, gynaecology, pain management and orthopaedics to apply to the CCG as part of a standard procurement process if they were interested in treating South Kent Coast patients.
As supported by EU procurement law, some French providers applied as well as a number of English ones.
We carried out a full and careful assessment of the services that each provider offered and visited the hospital sites. This resulted in some independent sector providers, and one French provider being given a contract by the CCG to provide some or all of the NHS services listed above. These contracts are in addition to the contracts we hold with the main local NHS hospitals.
After discussion with their GP, it is possible for patients who need this type of treatment to choose to have it at any of the NHS hospitals in England or any of the accredited independent providers in England or now France.
This is a matter of choice as set out in the principles of the NHS constitution. The NHS pays only for treatment that is carried out and at a standard price that is set nationally for NHS services.