NHS Reforms – lobbying update

NHS Reforms – lobbying update

Thank you to all our supporters who have written to their MPs with concerns about the NHS reforms. As we know, doctors, nurses and others working in the NHS have expressed their objections through their professional organisations, but as ‘patients’ and the public it is important that we should also let MPs and government know that we are concerned about the reforms too.

Many of the responses from MPs followed Party lines, as to be expected, nevertheless, the majority followed up IDDT members’ questions and concerns by writing to the Minister responsible. It appears that the government is bowing to pressure and sections of the Health Bill are being delayed by the government’s three month ‘listening exercise’. According to press reports, this will take place to the end of May and the government is expected to return with legislation sometime in June. It remains to be seen whether ‘listening’ means that action will be taken or it is simply a cosmetic pause. We have to hope that at least it gives more time for consideration of the issues that are important when such fundamental changes are being made to the NHS.

According to the NHS Chief Executive, the deadline for GP consortia taking control of commissioning remains April 2013 but the three month listening exercise means that some organisational changes planned to take place in April 2012 will not happen before July 2012. These include:

  • scrapping Strategic Health Authorities,
  • handing the NHS Commissioning Board its full powers,
  • starting the first phase of Monitor’s new powers,
  • implementation of Health Watch England and handing over full powers of the NHS Trust Development Authority, Health Education England and Public Health England.

To track the progress of the Health and Social Care Bill visit: www.dh.gov.en/Publicationsandstatistics/Legislation/Actsandbills/HealthandSocialCareBill2011/index.htm