10 / 05 / 2019
The NHS Long Term Plan sets a bold direction of travel and there is now a real opportunity to deliver a new vision for the health service with joined-up care at its heart. All of us know this will not be straightforward, that it is an extremely challenging agenda and that success is by no means guaranteed. But we also know there really is no alternative.
At the heart of this is a determination to move towards much greater collaboration and system working. To help facilitate this NHS England/Improvement have reviewed the existing legislation and has consulted on a number of proposals which seek to remove barriers to collaborative working.
The NHS Confederation has been engaging with its members to gauge the views of front-line leaders on the proposals. Broadly, there is support for the direction of travel and we support the push to promote and enable greater collaboration and to remove some of the existing (or perceived) barriers to this. We recognise that the NHS is in a different place from when the 2012 Health and Social Care Act came into force and that several aspects of this legislation do act as barriers to effective integration.
We also acknowledge that while it will not be possible or desirable to undertake wholesale changes to the existing legislation, there is a case for targeted changes. Hence it is important that we evaluate whether these proposals can help accelerate integration and provide the NHS with a coherent legislative framework.
From our discussions and engagement with front-line leaders, ten key issues have emerged. It will be essential to address these if we are to create the right legislative and regulatory framework for local leaders and their organisations to succeed.