Summary of Integration and innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all
12 February 2021
The Department of Health and Social Care published their legislative proposals for the NHS on 11 February 2021, in the Integration and innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all white paper. The proposals build on the NHS long term plan and the subsequent NHS’s recommendations to Government and Parliament for an NHS bill. The proposals cover three key areas; working together and supporting integration; reducing bureaucracy; and enhancing public confidence and accountability. The white paper also contains additional proposals around social care, public health and quality and safety.
The white paper states that the proposed legislation is not intended to address all the challenges faced by the health and social care system, and that there are further reforms to be undertaken. These broader changes include proposals to reform social care, the future design of the public health system and modernising the Mental Health Act.
The legislative proposals not only build on the NHS long term plan but are also designed to accelerate the positive changes in the health and care system that have come about through the pandemic. The white paper highlights that legislation is just one part of the change and much relies on having the right workforce, good leadership and getting the incentives and financial flows right. A supporting implementation programme will be developed for these areas and it is expected that the reforms outlined in the white paper will begin to be implemented in 2022.
This briefing sets out the key proposals for legislative change in the NHS. The white paper should be referred to for the full set of proposals.
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