NHS Reform.

The Government’s Health and Social Care Bill will dramatically change the face of health and social care provision in England and Wales.  The Bill proposes to create an independent NHS Board, promote patient choice and reduce NHS administration costs.  The key principle is ‘no decision about me, without me’.

Key elements:

  • Establish GP Commissioning consortia to enable them to buy services for their patients.
  • Strengthen the role of the Care Quality Commission
  • Strengthens the role of Monitor (the body that currently regulates NHS Foundation Trusts)
  • Abolishes Primary Care Trusts and Strategic Health Authorities
  • Transfers statutory public health functions to local authorities
  • Establishes Health and Well Being Boards to have strategic oversight and promote integrated services with representation from local authorities (social care, children and young people and public health) and NHS commissioners
  • Sets up Health Watch as an patient and public voice
  • One of the dramatic changes will be the role that GPs have in commissioning services.  It is not clear how well GPs know and understand the voluntary and community sector – project by Community Action on Health will help to assess that.  Some GPs refer patients to voluntary groups and don’t have to pay for the service at the moment.  Many BME groups which provide services that help people to get better, and stay off expensive medication, may find that they have to work harder to let GPs know that they are there.  They may also have to improve their commissioning and bid writing skills. 

Do you know what’s happening in your area?
Have you discussed how you will react to these changes?
Please contact BECON if you have views or experiences around GP commissioning to share.