The Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley, has set out the government’s plans to reform the NHS in England. The plans, documented in a new white paper entitled ‘Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS’, state that more power will be given to patients and professionals in the design and delivery of health and social care. This briefing outlines a summary of the key reforms. Please note, some terms which require further clarification are explained in a glossary at the end of this document. The white paper focuses on four key areas: 1. 2. 3. 4. Putting patients and the public first Improving healthcare outcomes Autonomy, accountability and democratic legitimacy Cutting bureaucracy and improving efficiency
A brief note on social care In addition to these four key areas, the document confirms the Department of Health’s continued vital role in setting adult social care policy. The government intends to publish its vision for social care later this year. A commission on the funding of long-term care and support will be established and will report within a year. The government intends to bring together the conclusions of the Law Commission and the commission on funding, along with the government’s own vision and to publish a white paper in 2011.
1. Putting patients and the public first
Key reforms Shared decision making - “no decision about me without me”. Better accountability based on patient experience. Personalised care, reflecting individuals’ health and care needs. Strengthened collective voice for patients and the public, including the establishment of HealthWatch England, a new consumer champion. An NHS “information revolution” to provide people with the information they need on healthcare.
Information revolution Information generated by patients will be critical to improving the accountability of NHS providers and commissioners. The government intends to make wider use