Recent weeks have seen a number of NHS structural changes proposed and/or consulted on by NHSE and the Department for Health and Social Care.
On 11 February the Government published a White Paper, outlining their plans for new health legislation, including enshrining Integrated Care Systems (ICS) in law and potentially allowing them to become new NHS Trusts. The full paper is called Integration and innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all and the speech introducing it to the House of Commons can be viewed here.
The White Paper mentions having general practice representation on ICS boards, but representation at Board and other levels is yet to be finalised and is likely to differ from area to area. Other high-level plans include reforming health regulators, returning to the Secretary of State many of the powers handed to the CEO of NHS England in 2012, delegation of some commissioning functions, and the introduction of new powers and duties.
An NHS England consultation on changes to the Standard Contract closed at the start of February. Our response focussed on the need to resolve issues with the primary/secondary care interface, a greater GP role in new decision-making processes being introduced as part of the move towards ICS, and the need for an independent guardian or watchdog to provide counsel in the event that there are difficulties collaborating. Our full response can be read here.
The wide-ranging NHS England consultation on proposed legislative changes to facilitate the creation of legal structures for ICS closed on 8 January. NHS England’s overview of the consultation can be read here and Londonwide LMCs’ full consultation response is here.
The King’s Fund have recently published a report titled: Integrated care systems in London: Challenges and opportunities ahead.