The RCN and BMA have urged ministers to clarify regulations in the Health and Social Care Act to describe how competition will be managed from 1 April, when clinical commissioning groups take control of £65 billion of the NHS budget.
Controversial 'competition regulations' were revised last month. However, there remains a lack of clarity around the circumstances in which commissioners will be required to tender all services, according to nurses' leaders.
The BMA and RCN warn competition may cause fragmentation, making it harder for the NHS to deliver care. They request assurances that commissioners can prioritise integration over competition.