National issues affect us all and in 2011, with the Health and Social Care Bill progressing through its parliamentary stages, we face an uncertain future ahead. This page will be used for information on any NHS issue with national impact.
After the pause, this Bill is now on its way again. We await further developments. Many concerns were expressed about the proposals in the Bill, particularly the speed of proposed changes and the risk of undermining the basic tenets of the NHS. We will monitor closely.
SUMMARY OF THE BILL AND COMMENTS FROM VARIOUS SOURCES
Health and Social Care Bill 2010 - Summary
This consultation was unusual in that it invited comment only on the specific set of questions listed in the document. It has proposals for major changes, transferring responsibility for public health to local authorities.
QUOTES AND COMMENTS FROM VARIOUS SOURCES:
NHS AMONGST THE BEST HEALTH SERVICES IN THE WORLD!
The Community Voice, of which Ruislip Residents Association is a member, had a treat at it meeting in November 2010. Patrick South, from The King’s Fund, was guest speaker and he started by reviewing where the NHS is now, noting that the achievements of recent years in the NHS have raised the UK’s health services to among the best in the world, with commensurate improvement in patient satisfaction. In a broadly based survey the UK came second overall in a 2010 international survey, slightly behind Holland but ahead of Australia, Germany, New Zealand, Canada and with the USA trailing last, despite its huge per capita input of $7290 against the UK’s $2992. Only New Zealand spent less per capita, at $2,454 with the rest between $3k and $4k.
The White Paper was followed by various clarifying documents. These developments have been reported in the national media, but there is still much confusion and lack of detail.
KEY POINTS ARE:
- There are plans to create a National Commissioning Board to allocate £80bn to local GP consortia to commission local NHS services
- Strategic Health authorities are to be abolished from April 2012 and Primary Care Trusts are to be abolished too, from 2013.
- GP consortia will serve at least 100,000 patients, possibly twice that number or more. It is uncertain whether all GPs will welcome this responsibility, or have the necessary management skills and experience – staff from the old SHAs and PCTs may be employed by the consortia to provide these skills, or the GPs may turn to the private sector for help.
- NHS acute services will then be provided either by Foundation Trusts or by the private sector. Some 20 or more NHS Hospital Trusts will not achieve foundation trust status and their future is unclear.
- Local Authorities will become responsible for Public Health issues.
- Patients will have more choice over many aspects of their care provision.
- Many of the old NHS targets have been abolished or modified eg the target to treat and discharge patients from A&E departments within four hours has been dropped from 98% to 95%.
- NHS London’s plans for polyclinics have been axed
Here is the text of the letter sent to seven local MPs - if you want to give us your own views on the Bill, please click the envelope at the bottom of this page to access our email facility and a link to our health representative.
RE: Health and Social Care Bill
As you know, The Community Voice responded in some detail to the consultation on the White Paper “Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS” and to the papers “Greater Choice and Control” and “An Information Revolution”. We did not respond to the subsequent White Paper “Healthy Lives, Healthy People” as it allowed responses only to its own questions. Since then we have watched the passage of the Health and Social Care Bill with apprehension, believing that the concerns expressed in our White Paper responses remain valid. We do not believe that GPs have the skills or experience to be NHS Managers; we fear the introduction of “any willing provider”; and we fear that transparency will be lost within the NHS if the Bill proceeds unchanged.