NHS England has made an ungainly climbdown from its initial plan to allow private sector providers to play a role in allocating specialist mental health commissioning budgets with a total of more than £2 billion.

In a move which Health Service Journal report links to criticism by campaigners of this new level of involvement of private companies, NHS England has written again to all providers of mental health, learning disability and autism services to make clear that private firms are excluded from leading the new models of care.

NHS England’s letter includes public and private sector in an invitation to “all providers of specialised mental health, learning disability and autism services to make submissions, through a regional process, to form NHS led provider collaboratives from April 2020.”

But it makes clear that the leading role in each collaborative has to be “an NHS organisation with experience of delivering specialised mental health and/or learning disability and autism services.”

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