Small Business Commissioner’s role should include public bodies, says Care England
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Following a Business, Innovation and Skills consultation on the appointment of a Small Business Commissioner, care providers’ representative body Care England says there is scope for the proposed Small Business Commissioner to assist providers and thereby avoid high legal costs for both parties.
Care England chief executive Professor Martin Green said independent care providers were heavily dependent on public sector purchasers who are monopoly commissioners.
“As such there is a considerable power imbalance when it comes to contracts being changed by the commissioner or payments from them being delayed,” said Prof. Green.
Care England is adamant that if the Commissioner role is to have teeth it should cover circumstances beyond business-to-business relationships and instead consider the relationship between public bodies such as local authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups with private and charitable providers.
“Such providers collectively employ more people than the NHS and are vital to local economies as well as ensuring that the NHS itself can function efficiently and effectively,” said Prof. Green.
“They must be supported to ensure that they can continue to provide these essential services, be paid on time and not have unfair contract clauses imposed upon them. Care England is in agreement that poor performing businesses should be named and shamed, but it is imperative to include local authorities and NHS Commissioners within this bracket too in order that a level playing field can be created”.