CCP conduct cases

The Principles and Rules of Co-operation and Competition place obligations on healthcare providers and commissioners regarding conduct that may adversely affect patients. For example:

  • Providers and commissioners must co-operate to ensure that patients' experience is of a seamless health service, regardless of organisational boundaries
  • Providers, referrers to and commissioners of NHS services must not restrict choice through collusive behaviour or any other action
  • Financial intervention in the system must be transparent and fair.

Complaints about conduct that is considered to be in breach of the rules may be made to the CCP for investigation. If the CCP considers that such behaviour is in breach of the rules, it may advise the Secretary of State or Monitor that action should be taken to prevent the conduct or to otherwise address the adverse effect that it is having on patients or taxpayers.

We encourage parties that are concerned about whether their actions may be in breach of the Principles and Rules of Co-operation and Competition to seek informal guidance from us.

Acceptance criteria

For a conduct complaint to be accepted for investigation, we must judge that:

  • The subject matter comes within the ambit of the Principles and Rules of Co-operation and Competition
  • The CCP is the most appropriate body to consider or resolve the issue
  • The relevant parties have made full and frank disclosure of all relevant and applicable information
  • No legal proceedings have commenced in relation to the matter
  • The dispute is not trivial, vexatious or an abuse of the CCP's procedures

The conduct case process

The conduct case process is governed by the CCP's Rules of Procedure and conduct case guidelines.

We have adopted a two-phase approach to assessing conduct. In the first phase, we will consider whether to advise that no action be taken in relation to the conduct in question or whether a more detailed second-phase assessment is required.

The first-phase assessment will be completed within 40 working days, and the second-phase assessment will be completed within 80 working days.

Stages and deadlines

Stage Deadline
Complaint submitted to CCP Day 0
Notice of acceptance published Within 10 working days
Phase-one assessment Within 40 working days
Phase-two assessment (where required) Within 80 working days

The timetable for a conduct case may be suspended by the CCP to allow for the provision of further information, or it may be extended with the approval of the relevant sponsor.

Read the guidance document

We have published draft guidelines that set out:

  • The conduct inquiry process
  • Our methodology for assessing the impact of conduct that is alleged to be anti-competitive
  • The information that should be provided to the CCP by parties making a conduct complaint.

Read the conduct inquiry guidelines document

Department of Health NHS Monitor