Commissioners are you ready for the NHS provider licence?

All providers of NHS health care services including those in the independent sector will need to hold a Monitor licence from April 2014 onwards, unless they are exempt.

Monitor has published a Briefing for commissioners on the NHS provider licence outlining the action commissioners need to take to be ready for 1 April 2014. The information is for CCGs NHS England Specialised Commissioning and Area teams and CSUs. It includes a checklist of actions commissioners need to take before and from 1 April 2014.

NHS commissioners have a pivotal role to play in the reformed commissioning landscape - they have primary responsibility with support from NHS England for ensuring the continuity of Commissioner Requested Services for patients in their local area should any provider be at risk of financial failure.

Before 1 April 2014 commissioners need to:

  • Check that providers they contract services from are aware of Monitor's licensing requirements. Providers delivering NHS services will require a Monitor licence as from 1 April and failure to hold one will mean the provider is in breach of the rules. The sanction: Monitor can take enforcement action against providers including imposing regulatory requirements and fines.
  • Consider the services that should be designated as Commissioner Requested Services. All providers of Commissioner Requested Services will need a licence.

Monitor's register of licence holders will be available on their website from 1 April 2014. Commissioners will be able to check whether a provider has a licence. For more information on Monitor's NHS provider licence please visit

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