07 July 2021
The Government has set out proposals for changes to the health and care system under the new Health and Care Bill, which was introduced to Parliament this week.
The Government states that the Bill will build “on the the NHS’ own proposals for reform to make it less bureaucratic, more accountable, and more integrated in the wake of COVID-19”. The Bill aims to support the Government in:
- Promoting local collaboration;
- Reforming the NHS Provider Selection Regime;
- Improving accountability and enhancing public confidence in the health and care system; and
- Delivering a range of targeted measures to support people at all stages of life.
The Bill also addresses water fluoridation, giving the Health Secretary the power to directly introduce, vary or terminate water fluoridation schemes. This removes the burden from local authorities and will allow DHSC to streamline processes and take responsibility for proposing any new fluoridation schemes, which will be subject to consultation and funding being agreed.
Further measures include the development of a new procurement regime for the NHS and public health procurement, informed by public consultation, to reduce bureaucracy on commissioners and providers alike, and reduce the need for competitive tendering where it adds limited or no value.
The Bill is at the early stages of the Parliamentary process, and we will continue to update members with any relevant developments as it progresses.