Recently Monitor issued its final report into Cornwall and Scilly Primary Care Trust Conduct and Complaint. The health sector regulator upheld its initial findings that Cornwall PCT should have been more transparent in its commissioning of learning disability and mental health services.

Monitor also found that the PCT did not make a decision to exclude the independent sector from providing specialist inpatient mental health and learning disability services.

Private provider St Piran's Healthcare Ltd complained that the PCT breached the Principles and Rules for Co-operation and Competition (PRCC) by deciding not to commission specialist inpatient mental health and learning disability services from independent sector providers in Cornwall, and specifically from St Piran's. St Piran's operated a 14 bed hospital in Cornwall, which provided services for adults with learning disabilities who required inpatient medical, psychiatric and nursing care.

Catherine Davies, executive director of co-operation and competition at Monitor, said: "We have investigated this complaint fully and found no adverse effect on patients”. "However, the transparency of Cornwall PCT's commissioning decisions could have been better."

Monitor recommends that its final decision should serve as guidance for better practice among CCGs. We highlight the key recommendations for CCGs in our earlier blog post which Monitor upheld in its final report.

In Monitor’s concluding remarks, it also noted the importance of effective provider engagement, considering new entrants to the market and taking into account patients' needs in making commissioning decisions.