The RCP has produced a briefing for parliamentarians ahead of the Health and Care Bill second reading on Wednesday 14 July. The Health and Care Bill seeks to put Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) on statutory footing, following the health and care white paper and an NHS England consultation.
While we support the general direction of travel to put ICSs on a statutory footing to help enable better integration, government must go further to ensure the bill delivers on its promise for better joined up care.
The bill is a vital opportunity to establish greater accountability and transparency on the number and type of health and care workers we need to meet patient demand now and in future. Following the success of the COVID-19 vaccine, it is also an opportunity to prioritise clinical research and cement the UK’s place as a global leader in that space.
- Amend the Bill to include provisions for regular, independent assessments of future health and care workforce to be published.
- Mandate that ICSs ensure that NHS organisations for which they are responsible conduct and resource clinical research.
Legislation alone will not improve the health of the nation and improve services, which is why the government must also
- develop a cross government strategy to reduce health inequalities
- urgently bring forward its plans for reforming social care
- commit to increased public health funding.