This week the UK Government released a White Paper setting out legislative proposals for a Health and Care Bill to modernise legal frameworks and improve integration between health and care. The proposals also outline that Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) will be set up across England and put on a statutory footing. ICSs will bring together Local Authorities, Clinical Commissioning Groups and NHS Trusts to put the responsibility for population health into local hands.
Whilst our health and social care system has stood up to the challenges posed by the pandemic, it has also highlighted some of the cracks in the system that must be addressed. After a number of years of discussion and debate around the best path forward for reforming health and social care, the measures set out this week include proposals to make integrated care the default and to reduce legal bureaucracy with the aim of better supporting social care, public health, and the NHS.
Discussing the recent announcement, Ravi said:
“After many years of pushing for reform to our health and social care systems, I welcome these proposals. By adopting a localised approach, care providers will be able to tailor and target their services to suit the needs of communities in which they serve and vastly improve patient outcomes.
“The provision of care to people in local communities will be enhanced when there is more collaboration among local groups. Significantly, for those working in social care these changes should make liaising with the NHS and Local Authorities easier, as there will be scope for more communication and data sharing that will improve patient outcomes and care.”
“As we continue to navigate the pandemic and face a long road to recovery, I look forward to discussing these proposals in further detail and seeing recommendations being put in motion to support our excellent social care colleagues to deliver vital care.”