The response to COVID-19 has seen collaboration across health and social care at a pace and scale unimaginable even a little over a year ago.
The lessons from the pandemic cannot and should not be ignored, we need the right legislative framework to support recovery and it is clear that some elements of the current legal framework need to be improved to support integrated ways of working and ultimately act as a key enabler to support and sustain the process.
Working together to improve health and social care for all is the White paper setting out legislative proposals for a Health and Care Bill 2021
Many of the measures proposed have been under consideration for some time. In January 2019, the NHS published its Long Term Plan which set out the priorities for health and care over the next ten years. Many of the proposals build on the NHS’s recommendations in its Long Term Plan.
Working together and supporting integration proposals:
Establishing integrated care systems
Duty to collaborate
Power over foundation trusts capital spend limits
Reducing bureaucracy proposals:
Arranging healthcare services
Removing local education training boards (LETBs)
Ensuring accountability and enhancing public confidence proposals
Merging NHS England, Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority and Secretary of State powers of direction
The NHS mandate
Reconfigurations intervention power
Arm’s length bodies (ALB) transfer of functions
Removing special health authorities time limits
The remaining proposals are designed to support social care, public health and safety and quality.
Direct payments to providers
Discharge to assess
A standalone power for the Better Care Fund
Public Health power of direction
Safety and quality
Health Services Safety Investigations Body (HSSIB)
Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) new national (UK-wide) medicines registries
Hospital food standards
Reciprocal healthcare agreements with rest of world countries