White paper welcome but big issues still to discuss
11 February 2021
- The proposals are expected to speed up the move to integrate health and care at a local level.
- The new bill is expected to be wide ranging, including new powers for the secretary of state to direct NHS England and plans to put Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch on a statutory footing.
- NHS Providers will work closely with the government to get the detail of these proposals right.
Commenting on the release of today's 'White Paper' with legislative proposals for a Health and Care Bill, the chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson, said:
"There is widespread agreement across the NHS on many of the proposals in this paper thanks to the work done by NHS England and NHS Improvement and the Health and Social Care Committee to draw up a set of agreed legislative proposals in 2019, a process to which NHS Providers contributed extensively. We are pleased to see that this work forms the bedrock of what is now being proposed.
"These proposals provide an important opportunity to speed up the move to integrate health and care at a local level, replace competition with collaboration and reform an unnecessarily rigid NHS approach to procurement.
"There is a lot of detail to get right in what is now a wide ranging bill. We are keen to understand the government's intentions on some of the new proposals it has added such as the new powers for the secretary of state to direct NHS England, transfer powers between arms length bodies and intervene in local reconfigurations.
"It is also vital that the proposed new statutory powers for integrated care systems avoid overlap and duplication with the statutory powers of trusts and foundation trusts which the government rightly says it will maintain as the key delivery mechanism for ambulance, community, hospital and mental health care services.
We will also want to discuss how quickly these changes can be implemented given the operational pressures the NHS is currently facing.
"We will also want to discuss how quickly these changes can be implemented given the operational pressures the NHS is currently facing.
"We look forward to working closely with the government to get the detail of these proposals right and ensure they contribute to improvements in care for patients and service users."