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24.06.19

NHS Providers chief executive Chris Hopson gives his verdict on NHS long-term plan legislative report

Following the release today of the Health and Social Care Committee report, NHS long-term plan: legislative proposals, chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson, expressed his support for the published legislative proposal.

Mr Hopson said: “We welcome the careful consideration the Health and Social Care Committee has given to the proposals for legislative change put forward by NHS England and NHS Improvement within its report today.

“Their report helpfully recognises that collaboration within local systems can help to drive improvement and support more integrated services. At present and under these new proposals trust boards will remain locally accountable for the quality of the care they deliver.

READ MORE: Healthwatch: Long-term plan is just the start

READ MORE: Long-term plan: moving on up

“They must continue to have the appropriate powers and freedom to discharge their responsibilities effectively on behalf of local populations and to work in close partnership with colleagues in commissioning, primary care and social care.

“We fully agree with the caution the committee has sounded over proposals to give NHS Improvement the ability to direct foundation trust mergers, acquisitions and capital spending limits. The assumption of such central powers would fundamentally cut across the autonomy and accountability of a trust board which is best placed to make local decisions over the care they deliver and the investments needed for their patients and service users.

“The proposals over powers to create new integrated care trusts are also important, and the committee is right to emphasise the importance of local leadership here. These proposed powers must not be used by the national bodies to force through changes and we would like to see existing providers consulted on any plans.

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NHS Providers chief executive Chris Hopson

“Although the proposals put forward by NHSE/I are not intended to fundamentally restructure the NHS, they are important and could shape the future of the NHS, as set out in the long term plan. 

“Making any legislative change in the health and care sector is likely to be a complex and potentially far-reaching process, with real significance for how health and care is planned and delivered for patients and the public.

“We therefore look forward to working with trusts, the government, the committee and others as the draft bill is brought forward.”

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