It is up to commissioners to decide if, and when, to use competition. However, Monitor polices the rules and makes sure that choice and competition operate in the best interests of patients. In particular, we act to prevent anti-competitive behaviour by commissioners or providers where it is against patients’ interests.
To enable us to carry out this role, Monitor has established a co-operation and competition directorate.
Monitor has a number of powers to enable us to protect choice and prevent anti-competitive behaviour. We can:
We also provide the Office of Fair Trading with advice on matters relating to mergers involving foundation trusts. Find out more by reading our briefing sheet on mergers involving NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts. You may also refer to Ensuring that patients' interests are at the heart of assessing public hospital mergers, which we issued jointly with the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission.
Executive Director of Co-operation and Competition is Catherine Davies, who was formerly Director of the Co-operation and Competition Panel ("the CCP").
CCP Panel members continue to provide independent advice to Monitor. The Panel consists of the Chair (Lord Carter of Coles) and a number of part-time members drawn from various backgrounds, including law, economics, business and health care.
During our investigations, we also draw on support from a number of specialist reference groups.