Any of you taking a peek at the draft new UK Public Procurement Regulations for implementing the new EU Public Procurement Directive, which were published for consultation by the Cabinet Office on Friday 19 September will note there’s some extra breathing space for NHS commissioners in the form of a delayed effective date.

The light touch regime under the new Public Contract Regulations 2015 will not apply to the procurement of contracts for NHS health care services falling within the scope of the NHS (Procurement, Patient Choice and Competition) (No 2) Regulations 2013 (PPCCR) until the later date of 18 April 2016.

The light touch regime replaces the current Part B Services regime that applies alongside the PCCR 2013.

In short, CCGs and NHS England will continue to follow the existing Part B Services regime and the PPCCR until 18 April 2016. Thereafter, the light touch regime for health and social services under the new Directive will replace the existing Part B services regime and will apply in addition to the continued application of the PPCCR.

We understand that practical guidance on the light touch regime will be published shortly. Anyone wishing to respond to the Cabinet Office consultation has a relatively short period of time in which to do so as the consultation ends on 17 October 2014. These can be found on the website.