CSP applauds new competition proposals for NHS England, but warns on timing

The CSP has broadly welcomed the government’s White Paper on reforms to the NHS in England.

White paper on NHS reforms Feb 2021

The new proposals, published today, unwind many of the changes introduced by the Health and Social Care Act 2012.

Among the key measures are a clear shift away from competition and compulsory tendering towards a more collaborative approach, and giving more powers to Integrated Care Systems (ICSs).

Accountability for the NHS will return to the secretary of state – something that was removed in the 2012 reforms – although that will be accompanied by greater powers to intervene in local decision-making.

Prof Karen Middleton, chief executive of the CSP, said there was much to support in the proposals but urged caution.

‘It’s a welcome shift away from competition and towards greater collaboration and integration and it’s essential to strengthen accountability at every level at from the Secretary of State and Parliament to NHS bodies that are part of local systems,’ she said.

Any reorganisation, though, cannot detract from the acute need to resolve the significant workforce issues across the NHS and social care or the issue of recovery and rehabilitation from Covid


ICGs to gain commissioning responsibility


Under the new proposals, ICSs will be responsible for planning to meet their health needs of the population in their area and securing provision of health services.

The proposals will put ICSs on a statutory footing, enabling a formal transfer of commissioning responsibility to ICSs from Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

‘We’re calling for all Integrated Care Systems to be required to have a rehabilitation lead at a senior level and representation of staff through their trade unions and professional bodies within their structures,’ Prof Middleton added.

Further details about CSP's response to the proposals are available here 

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