Last week in Parliament, Health Secretary Matt Hancock MP announced a new white paper with sweeping reforms to the way the NHS is run.
The reforms will reduce bureaucracy and increase integration between the NHS and social care system, saving lives and improving health outcomes. A primary focus will be the overall health of the population, with a strong focus on prevention and overall public health.
The experience of the pandemic has demonstrated what works and what doesn’t in the health service, and the experience of nurses, doctors, and other staff have informed the shape of the reforms, which are built on over 2 years of work. By acting now, the government can make permanent some of the beneficial changes where COVID-19 has catalysed new and better ways of working and lay the foundations for the recruitment of 50,000 more nurses and the hospital building programme.
Decision making about local health matters will be taken at local levels, with local authorities and care providers being integrated as far as possible to ensure continuity of service and value for taxpayers. At the same time, Ministers will have greater accountability over health matters, ensuring that health matters are answerable to parliament in all cases. Under the present system, Clinical Commissioning Groups and Hospital Trusts make decisions with little to no accountability, which has led to proposals that local people oppose.
Commenting Robbie Moore MP said: “I welcome this new white paper which will put better service integration and patient outcomes at the heart of local healthcare provision.
"Making our Health service as efficient as possible by cutting red tape and easing pressure on frontline healthcare workers can only be a good thing. Better integration of services should mean that more money can be spent on key areas to ensure that patients are receiving the best healthcare available.
“The introduction of these reforms is one of the many ways that we are building back better from the coronavirus pandemic. I will continue to push the Government for more support for Airedale General Hospital, including making the case for a new hospital building on the current Steeton site.”
Health Secretary, Matt Hancock MP 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.”