The purpose of the Act is to give effect to the policies that were set out as part of the NHS' recommendations for legislative reform following the NHS Long Term Plan and in the white paper 'Integration and Innovation: Working together to improve health and social care for all' published in February 2021.
Throughout the development of the legislative proposals and subsequent Bill, we drew on the insights and expertise of NHS trusts and foundation trusts, and we engaged extensively and constructively with DHSC, NHS England, health and care stakeholders and parliamentarians. Below we summarise how the Act developed, and our work to influence and improve it in support of members, communities and the wider system.
A limited set of proposals for legislative changes were brought forward by NHS England in autumn 2019 and we published a thorough analysis in an On the day briefing.
White paper published. We published a comprehensive On the day briefing. We also submitted written evidence to the health and social care committee's inquiry into DHSC's white paper and gave oral evidence to the committee on 2 March 2021.
The Health and Care Bill was published in parliament. Our On the day briefing analysed the Bill, highlighting those areas where we wanted to see changes to the legislation. The Second Reading of the Bill was held in the House of Commons on 14 July. We published a briefing ahead of this debate.
September 2021 – November 2021
The House of Commons set up a general committee on the Health and Care Bill to scrutinise the Bill in depth. It took evidence from key stakeholders, including NHS Providers. We submitted written evidence and also gave oral evidence.
We provided numerous briefings throughout Committee Stage in the House of Commons which can be found here. This stage of the Bill was completed on the 22 November 2021 and followed by report stage in the House of Commons on 22 and 23 November.
The Bill had its Second Reading in the House of Lords in December 2021. We produced a briefing ahead of this debate, highlighting changes that happened during committee stage in the House of Commons and where we thought improvements could still be made to the legislation.
January – March 2022
The House of Lords scrutinised the Bill at Committee Stage. We produced a number of briefings on key amendments during this stage of the Bill.
Report Stage and Third Reading of the Health and Care Bill took place during March. We published a briefing ahead of report stage as well as a joint statement with key stakeholders.
Consideration of Commons amendments and consideration of Lords amendment ('ping-pong') took place throughout April 2022, prior to the Bill receiving Royal Assent and becoming the Health and Care Act 2022 on 28 April.