Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation responds to legislative reform proposals published today by NHS England and Improvement
He said: “This is a good start – we need more effective integration if we are to create a health and care service that can meet the needs of patients and respond to rising demand for care.
“No-one wants another time consuming and distracting reorganization – we've had too many of these already. But we believe that a limited and targeted set of legislative reforms can help make it easier to create more effective and integrated services. We therefore support the proposed changes and the idea of an NHS Bill to replace parts of the Health & Social Care Act that are no longer fit for purpose.
“We are pleased to see that earlier proposals to enable NHS England and Improvement to direct mergers between NHS foundation trusts have been abandoned. However, we remain concerned about new central powers to impose capital spending limits on providers and this needs to be further considered.
“Changes to legislation alone will not deliver on the ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan – so much will depend on the quality of local relationships between different parts of the system. But this is a welcome step forward. And, as ever, the success of any reform will come down to the details and there is still work to be done to flesh out some of the proposals.
"We will work with those involved to refine the proposals and ensure that our members' views – front-line NHS, third sector and independent leaders – inform their development."
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