This week, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has published the new White Paper on Health and Care to reform the NHS and prepare it for future challenges.
The White Paper will look to remove unnecessary bureaucracy and empower local leaders to enable them to provide the best possible care. While giving more power to local services, the new proposals will also look to integrate and join up services, improving the quality and availability of data across the sector while using new technology to better support staff and patients.
Key measures include:
- Bringing the NHS and local government together legally as an integrated care system
- Reducing the need to tender services to only when it will produce a better outcome for patients
- Putting the Healthcare Safety Investigations Branch permanently into law
- Improving data sharing measures in social care, update legal frameworks and introduce improved powers for payments to adult social care providers
- Tackle inequalities in public health and level-up services across the country
The Paper has been welcomed by Gosport MP, Caroline Dinenage, who commented:
“These flexible reforms will enable our brilliant staff at Queen Alexandra, Gosport War Memorial Hospital and Primary Care Networks in Gosport to cut down the unnecessary and time-consuming red tape while being able to safely spend more time on patient care.
“New technology, better access to data and flexibility in their services means that we can improve the experience for both staff and patients, delivering high-quality care for our community.
“The pandemic has highlighted more than ever how vital our NHS is, free at point of use for constituents. Proposed changes could go a long way to better support staff and services.”
The White Paper builds on recommendations that have already been made by the NHS in the Long Term Plan which was drawn up by frontline staff, patient groups and national experts to improve the NHS over the next 10 years.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:
“The NHS and local government have long been calling for better integration and less burdensome bureaucracy, and this virus has made clear the time for change is now.
“These changes will allow us to build back better and bottle the innovation and ingenuity of our brilliant staff during the pandemic, where progress was made despite the legal framework, rather than because of it.
“The proposals build on what the NHS has called for and will become the foundations for a health and care system which is more integrated, more innovative and responsive, and more ready to respond to the challenges of tomorrow, from health inequalities to our ageing population.”