NHS reform update

Read the government’s White Paper setting out new legislative proposals…

At the end of last year we shared with you the NHS England and NHS Improvement paper Integrating care: Next steps to building strong and effective integrated care systems across England. This builds on the overarching aim of the NHS Long Term Plan, for health and care to be joined up locally around people’s needs. It highlighted the need for even greater collaboration between partners in health and care, in order to meet our critical health and care challenges.

As well as highlighting the key components of an effective integrated care system (ICS), the paper described options for giving ICSs a firmer footing in legislation. One of the suggested routes was for ICSs to be established as NHS bodies taking on the commissioning functions of CCGs. Responses to this document have informed NHSE/I’s recommendations to Government and Parliament and are set out in Legislating for Integrated Care Systems.

Based on these legislative proposals, the Department of Health and Social Care has now set out new proposals within draft legislation (known as a White Paper). Read the Government’s press release online.

The paper recognises both a need for local flexibility in how ‘place-based’ partnership is achieved and that alignment of ICS and local government boundaries may be desirable. We wait to learn whether this has any implications for our current boundaries.

We will be reviewing the White Paper over the next few days and considering fully what it means for our residents, patients, staff and system.

Patients, NHS staff and partner organisations are invited to give their views on NHSE/I proposals on the new approach to procurement of services, through the consultation documents NHS Provider Selection Regime. We would like to encourage you to read this and give your views in the survey (which is open until 7 April).

Jane Halpin, Joint Chief Executive Officer, Herts and West Essex ICS and CCGs, will be joining our staff briefing on 23 February to discuss what the White Paper is likely to mean for us and the wider system. There will be an opportunity for some questions during the session, though if you prefer to send any questions in beforehand please send them to the Communications team and we will share these with Jane in advance of the meeting.

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