Responding to today’s Queen’s Speech and a proposed new Health and Care Bill, David Hare, Chief Executive of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network, said:
“The new legislation to reform the NHS, announced in today’s Queen’s Speech, represent the biggest change in how healthcare is commissioned and delivered in England in almost a decade.
“As the Prime Minister has rightly made clear this week, tackling the growing backlog of NHS treatment and improving patient care will need to be a critical priority for the remainder of the Parliament. While we welcome the move towards more integrated services, with 80,000 more people waiting over one year for care in just the last month, it’s vital that the forthcoming legislation is judged not only on whether it ensures that patients receive integrated, joined up care, but also that patients have quick access to diagnosis and treatment.
“Indeed, with NHS waiting times at record levels and challenges across acute, community and primary care services, there needs to be a clear plan in place and an “all shoulders to the wheel” approach taken by the health system to improve patient access to care. This includes a clear role for independent providers in new integrated care systems, who in the last year have delivered over 3.2 million NHS treatments as part of their historic partnership with the NHS.
“We look forward to the publication of the Health and Care Bill and will be working to ensure patients have swift access to the best and most innovative services in new Integrated Care Systems, alongside clear mechanisms in place to challenge poorly performing services.”