Responding to the publication of NHS England-Improvement’s proposals on NHS legislative change, David Hare, Chief Executive of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network said:
“Today’s recommendations from NHS England-Improvement to Government and Parliament for an NHS Integrated Care Bill make some key improvements on initial proposals and show that the NHS has been willing to listen to stakeholder feedback, including those issues raised by the independent healthcare sector.
“In particular we are pleased to see the inclusion of important new provisions to strengthen patient choice and we welcome NHS England-Improvement’s continuing commitment to competitive procurement where it is in the interests of patients, with any new procurement regime seeking to find the best possible provider of care, regardless of who provides it.
“However we remain concerned that the proposals still lack detail in vital areas how the proposed statutory “best value test” will work in practice, and how the care provided by the independent, voluntary, social enterprise and local government sectors will be integrated into local systems.
“All of these concerns were raised by the Commons Health and Social Care Committee in their recent report on NHS England-Improvement’s proposals and it is vital that any legislation in this area does not lead to an ‘NHS-centric’ approach to integration at a time when many services for NHS patients are provided outside of the statutory NHS provider sector.”