The RCP has submitted written evidence to the health and social care select committee’s inquiry on the department’s integration white paper.
The Committee’s inquiry considers the proposals in the ‘Working together to improve health and social care for all’ white paper recently published by the Department of health and social care. It looks at how well the proposals will deliver integrated care, and whether the white paper delivers long-term plans on social care and the health and care workforce that are needed to improve care.
The RCP’s response gives broad support to the proposals in the white paper which will help to support and underpin the transformation already taking place in the health and care system to deliver integrated, person-centred care.
The legislation is an important opportunity to improve workforce planning. The white paper proposal for the secretary of state to publish a report once a parliament that clarifies roles and responsibilities for workforce planning is welcome – but given the ability of the NHS to deliver better integrated care rests on long-term workforce planning, we believe there needs to be greater transparency and accountability than is currently offered by the white paper proposal. We want to see the Bill place clear legal responsibility on a ‘designated body’ for publishing workforce projections and place a duty on the secretary of state to respond to those projections with a plan for what government will do.
We will assess the legislation when it is published later this year following the Queen’s Speech, and will continue to push the need for greater transparency and accountability on workforce, alongside long-term government strategies on public health, social care and health inequalities.