20 January 2011
Yesterday Health Secretary Andrew Lansley published the Health and Social Care Bill outlining his plans for the reorganisation of the NHS.
Confirming proposals put forward in the White Paper last July, the bill – which primarily affects England - sets out the following:
- abolition, by 2013, of all 10 Strategic Health Authorities and 151 Primary Care Trusts, which currently control about 80% of the NHS budget
- 500 consortia of GPs to take responsibility for buying operations and patient care from hospitals and other public or private sector providers
- an independent NHS Board to set standards and hold GPs to account; it will also be financially responsible for other services, such as dentistry
- all hospitals to become self-governing Foundation Trusts by 2014
some hospitals will be encouraged to become John Lewis-style partnerships, run by staff.
Pathfinder GP groups have been set up to test the commissioning arrangements for GP consortia to ensure they are working well before more formal arrangements come into place.
The real impact for people with M.E. will start to emerge as these pathfinder GP commissioning groups start to develop.
They could bring more innovation and patient choice - or threaten the already-limited services which do exist.
People with M.E. need clinical specialists and there is an economic case to argue, as well as a moral and health equality one. Action for M.E. is keen to support local action, as well as lobby nationally, on this basis. If you think we can help, please let us know what you need. Contact Policy Officer Tris Rodriguez, 0117 930 1325.