NHS Providers welcomes direction of travel set out in targeted NHS legislative proposals
26 September 2019
- NHS England and NHS Improvement have made recommendations for the NHS Bill.
- Recommendations include scrapping "section 75" procurement regulations, removing the NHS from public procurement law, and removing independent competition regulation.
- Recommendations also include removing the role of the Competition and Markets Authority in NHS mergers and pricing.
- It also recommends allowing all NHS organisations, including foundation trusts, to work together by delegating decisions and budgets to joint committees. The committee could be used to make decisions across integrated care systems or groups of provider trusts.
- It also recommends merging NHS England and NHS Improvement.
Responding to the recommendations for the NHS Bill published today by NHS England and NHS Improvement, the director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, Miriam Deakin said:
“The publication of these proposals follows welcome engagement with the sector from NHS England and NHS Improvement, and we are happy to support the direction of travel.
“Trust leaders support the move to integrated care within local systems, which is central to delivering the NHS long term plan, and, of course, improving services for patients.
Trust leaders support the move to integrated care within local systems, which is central to delivering the NHS long term plan, and, of course, improving services for patients.Director of Policy and Strategy
“Although collaborative working is entirely possible at the moment, the current legislation has thrown up barriers, delays and difficulties. So it is right that we look carefully at what targeted changes can be made to the law while avoiding a substantial restructure of the NHS – which nobody wants to see.
“We are pleased to see that a number of comments from the provider sector have been taken on board as these proposals have evolved.
“In particular, proposed powers for the national bodies to direct foundation trust mergers and acquisitions have, rightly, been completely removed leaving the autonomy and the accountability of statutory trust boards intact. Although we have concerns over proposed central powers to direct the capital spending of foundation trusts, it is good to see that NHSE/I has listened carefully to our suggestions and that the recommendations for these new proposals are tightly controlled and would only be used once other routes have been exhausted.
In particular, proposed powers for the national bodies to direct foundation trust mergers and acquisitions have, rightly, been completely removed leaving the autonomy and the accountability of statutory trust boards intact.Director of Policy and Strategy
“It is also good to see that proposals to create new integrated care trusts must be based around local engagement and that the option of developing joint committees between trusts and CCGs will be voluntary.
“While the proposals put forward are deliberately targeted, and are not intended to completely restructure the NHS, taken together, this could mark a significant change to how the NHS operates in the future. We will continue to work with NHSE/I, the Department of Health and Social Care and parliament if as expected these proposals move forward into the legislative stages.”