Joint letter to the Times on the Health and Care Bill

In a letter to The Times, NHS Providers chief executive Chris Hopson, NHS Confederation chief executive Matthew Taylor, and The King's Fund chief executive Richard Murray, write about the impact the Health and Care Bill will have on the NHS' independence.


Independent of NHS 'at risk'

There is much to welcome in the government's Health and Care Bill but it also brings the risk of a damaging erosion of NHS independence. New powers for the government to intervene and make changes to local 
NHS services could result in political calculations trumping clinical judgment. Improvements to patient care could face significant delays as ministers unduly insert themselves into decisions that should be made locally.

MPs could come under political pressure to intervene in NHS decisions, and in turn many would beat a path to the health and social care secretary's door. This would risk a decision-making logjam and those MPs who shout the loudest getting a veto on changes to NHS services.

As members of the House of Lords debate the Health and Care Bill we encourage them to, at the very least, support amendments tabled by Baroness Cumberlege to limit the use of these powers.

Richard Murry, chief executive of The King's Fund
Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers
Matthew Taylor, chief executive of NHS Confederation