Equity and excellence: liberating the NHS

Via the Department for Health, the launch of the Government’s health reforms:

Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley today set out the Government’s ambitious plans to reform the NHS during this Parliament and for the long-term.

The White Paper ‘Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS’ published today, details how power will be devolved from Whitehall to patients and professionals.

Professionals will be free to focus on improving health outcomes so that these are amongst the best in the world.  Improving the quality of care will become the main purpose of the NHS.

Patients will get more choice and control, backed by an information revolution, so that services are more responsive to patients and designed around them, rather than patients having to fit around services.  The principle will be “no decisions about me without me”. 

Under the new plans, patients will be able to choose which GP practice they register with, regardless of where they live, and choose between consultant-led teams.  More comprehensive and transparent information, such as patients’ own ratings, will help them make these choices together with healthcare professionals.

Groups of GPs will be given freedom and responsibility for commissioning care for their local communities.  Providers of services will have new freedoms and they will be more accountable.  There will be greater competition in the NHS and greater cooperation.  Services will be more joined up, supported by a new role for Local Authorities to support integration across health and social care. 

As a result of the changes, the NHS will be streamlined with fewer layers of bureaucracy.  Strategic Health Authorities and Primary Care Trusts will be phased out.  Management costs will be reduced so that as much resource as possible supports frontline services.  The reforms build on changes started under the previous Government.

Download the whitepaper here and, if you are a Wycombe constituent, please send any feedback via my contact page.

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