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David Cameron overhauls NHS reforms

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has announced significant changes to the NHS Health and Social Care Bill following criticism received as the result of an independent review

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has announced significant changes to the NHS Health and Social Care Bill following criticism received as the result of an independent review carried out by the NHS Future Forum.

In a press conference this afternoon (June 14), the Prime Minister and his deputy Nick Clegg agreed to make changes to the Health and Social Care Bill following recommendations from the review.

The Government has accepted the 'core' changes to its NHS reforms recommended by the NHS Future Forum, the group of health experts set up to debate the Bill's recommendations, and made changes to put patients at the centre of the health service.

According to the Department of Health (DH), the changes will mean less bureaucracy and waste, a greater focus on quality and results for patients, and more freedom for doctors, nurses and the wider frontline.

In this video, David Cameron tells attendees about how he has listened to concerns around completion, the structure of commissioning groups and integration.

The key message from Cameron, Clegg and Health Secretary Andrew Lansley today was: "We have listened, we have learned, and we are improving our plans for the NHS."

"The fundamentals of our plans – more control for patients, more power to doctors and nurses, and less bureaucracy in the NHS – are as strong today as they have ever been.

"But the detail of how we are going to make this all work has really changed as a direct result of this consultation."

In this video footage, deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, talks about how the government is putting integration at the heart of reforms.

The NHS Future Forum was set up as a result of strong opposition to the controversial reform bill, with the objective to 'pause, listen and reflect' on the Bill. The Forum has made 16 key recommendations, including:
•    the pace of the proposed changes should be varied so that the NHS implements them only where it is ready to do so
•    the Secretary of State for Health should remain ultimately accountable for the NHS
•    nurses, specialist doctors and other clinicians must be involved in making local decisions about the commissioning of care – not just GPs – but in doing this the NHS should avoid tokenism, or the creation of a new bureaucracy
•    competition should be used to secure greater choice and better value for patients – it should be used not as an end in itself, but to improve quality, promote integration and increase citizens' rights
•    the drive for change in the NHS should not be based on Monitor's duty to 'promote' competition, which should be removed, but on citizens' power to challenge the local health service when they feel it does not offer meaningful choices or good quality
•    all organisations involved in NHS care and spending NHS money should be subject to the same high standards of public openness and accountability.

The Forum's full recommendations will be considered and responded to by the Government.

Forum chairman Professor Steve Field, a practising GP from Birmingham, said: "There is no doubt that the NHS needs to change. The principles underlying the Bill – devolving control to clinicians, giving patients real choices and control, and focusing on outcomes – are well supported.

"However, during our listening we heard genuine and deep-seated concerns from NHS staff, patients and the public that must be addressed if the reforms are to be progressed. If the substantial changes we propose are accepted by Government, then I think the resulting framework will place the NHS in a strong position to meet this objective and tackle the pressing challenges in the years ahead."

14th June 2011

From: Healthcare


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