The White Paper – Have Your Say!
The key principles of the changes are:
- GPs to have responsibility and budgets for planning and paying for services
- Greater emphasis on outcomes for patients, rather than simply meeting targets
- Primary Care Trusts and Strategic Health Authorities to be abolished
- Putting patients and the public first
- More independence for healthcare providers and reduced bureaucracy
- Health improvement will be the responsibility of Local Authorities
What might this mean for you?
Your GP practices will join others in a consortium, which will be responsible for "commissioning" - planning and paying for your NHS services. This will include planned and emergency hospital care, rehabilitation, most community services and mental health and learning disability services.
GPs will also be responsible for engaging with local people to ensure that the services they are paying for meet your needs.
A new national NHS Commissioning Board will oversee the performance of GP consortia, as well as commissioning GP services, pharmacy, opticians and dentists, and other specialised services.
A new consumer body called HealthWatch England will be set up. Local HealthWatch bodies will replace the current Local Involvement Networks.They will promote public engagement in the NHS, comment on changes to local services, act as advocates for complaints, and deliver advice across health and social care.
How can you have your say?
The Government is currently consulting about two aspects of its proposals - patient choice, and information and technology. You have until 14th January 2011 to submit your views.
Greater choice and control Find out more about proposals to give patients a greater say in where and how they receive healthcare. The idea is to give patients more involvement in the decisions about their care.
An Information Revolution Here you can learn about the Government's plans to support patient choice, by providing more information about the performance of hopsitals and other healthcare providers - and the role new technology can play in this.
You can also find out about other aspects of the White Paper:
The proposals for increasing patient and public involvement: Local Democratic Legitimacy in Health
The framework for measuring the performance of NHS services: Transparency in Outcomes
How services will be commissioned for patients in the future: Commissioning for Patients
How health care providers will be managed and regulated: Regulating Health Care providers
More information about the proposals in these papers can be found by clicking on the title, including the full document and associated questions.
The expected timetable of events is as follows:
April 2011: Full PCT restructuring implemented.
2011/12: GP consortia to be in place in shadow form, taking on increased delegated responsibility from PCTs.
2012/13: GP consortia take on responsibility for commissioning.
April 2013: GP consortia take on full financial responsibility. Formal dissolution of SHAs and PCTs
To view the White Paper click here