Health and Social Care Select Committee publishes report on NHS Long Term Plan legislative proposals

The Health and Social Care Select Committee has published a report into the legislative proposals of the NHS Long Term Plan.

This report forms part of the Select Committee’s inquiry, following a written call for evidence on 1st March 2019.

The report draws conclusions and offers recommendations on aspects of the NHS Long-Term Plan including: the role of the Competition and Markets Authority, the National Tariff, Procurement, a best value test, and Integrated Care Systems.

On the National Tariff, the report states that:

“We support NHS England and NHS Improvement’s intention to provide greater local flexibility over the use of the national tariff system. Providing more flexibility will help local providers and commissioners to remove perverse incentives, especially in managing patients with multiple long-term conditions.”

On procurement, the report states that it supports the intent behind the NHS England and NHS Improvement proposal to ensure that commissioners can exercise discretion over when to conduct procurement.

In addition, the report also advises NHS England and NHS Improvement to reconsider the wording of ‘best value’ in the proposal as it argues that this is synonymous with cost cutting.

On integrated care systems (ICSs), the report states that it expects all ICSs to meet the highest standards of transparency:

“While we agree that it is not advisable at this time to establish all integrated care systems as separate legal entities, in the absence of formal accountability for their collective decision-making, we expect ICSs to meet the highest standards of openness and transparency in the conduct of their affairs by holding meetings in public and publishing board papers and minutes.”

The Committee’s report then follows this by noting that transparency cannot be a substitute for accountability.

“Transparency, however, is not an adequate substitute for accountability if it is not clear who should be held to account. It is vital to avoid creating a situation where everyone in the system is accountable, but no-one can be held responsible for important decisions. We recommend that the National Implementation Plan due this autumn should set further directions for the standards of governance and transparency local systems should demonstrate.”

The report was published on Monday 24th June and is still awaiting a response from the Government. Read more from the report here.

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Published on 27. June 2019 in News, News UK