Government White Paper for NHS and social care reform

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Next steps to building strong and effective integrated care systems across England: Government White Paper for NHS and social care reform
Today the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has published a White Paper – Integration and Innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all, which sets out new proposals to build on the successful NHS response to the pandemic and bring health and care services closer together to improve care and tackle health inequalities.

The proposals aim to modernise the legal framework and remove unnecessary legislative bureaucracy.  

The White Paper sets out the government’s proposals for legislation, building on the extensive consultation already undertaken by NHS England which prompted thousands of responses from every part of the health and care system as well as the public.

The White Paper builds on the past seven years of practical experience and experimentation across the health service kicked off by the NHS Five Year Forward View, and the NHS Long Term Plan and reinforced by the flexibility NHS staff and organisations have shown in throughout the pandemic.

Key measures include: Support for our proposal to create statutory Integrated Care Systems.
Support for our proposal to scrap mandatory competitive procurements by which NHS staff currently waste a significant amount of time on unnecessary tendering processes for healthcare services.
Under today’s proposals, the NHS will only need to tender services when the NHS itself considered this has the potential to lead to better outcomes for patients. 
The Competition Market Authority will no longer be involved in NHS oversight.
Local NHS services will have more power to act in the best interests of their communities.

The safety of patients is at the heart of NHS services. The upcoming Bill will put the Healthcare Safety Investigations Branch permanently into law as a Statutory Body so it can continue to reduce risk and improve safety. The Healthcare Safety Investigations Branch already investigates when things go wrong, so that mistakes can be learned from, and this strengthens its legal footing.#

Support for our proposal to formally fold Monitor and the Trust Development Authority (i.e. NHS Improvement) into NHS England.

A package of measures to deliver on specific needs in the social care sector. This will improve oversight and accountability in the delivery of services through new assurance and data sharing measures in social care, update the legal framework to enable person-centred models of hospital discharge, and improve powers for the Secretary of State to directly make payments to adult social care providers where required.

The pandemic has shown the impact of inequalities on public health outcomes and the need for Government to act to help level up health across the country. Legislation will help to support the introduction of new requirements about calorie labelling on food and drink packaging and the advertising of junk food before the 9pm watershed. You can read further details in today’s press release along with the White Paper, the NHSE/I response to the legislative consultation, a letter sent out to System Leaders today, as well as a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs). Today NHS England has also published an online consultation on proposals for the NHS Provider Selection Regime. This sets out a new approach to procurement of services, to make it easier to develop stable collaborations and to reduce some of the cost burden associated with the current regime.
A Bill will be laid in Parliament when parliamentary time allows to carry the proposals into law. The changes set out today will help to shape our future work, which at its heart is about enabling everyone we serve to live a healthier and happier life for longer, with more convenient, responsive services when people need them.  

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