NHS Reforms Come Into Force
The NHS has been reformed from the 1st of April. All Primary Care Trusts (PCT's) in Birmingham and the Black Country have been abolished and replaced by clinical commissioning groups (CCG's) which will be led by GPs and other clinicians.
The move will see 211 CCGs replace 151 PCTs across England. They will be responsible for making most of the decisions including how to spend their budget.
The main aim is to make the NHS more accountable to patients and to release frontline staff from excessive bureaucracy and top-down control. It comes off the back of the Francis Report into routine neglect at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust between 2005-2009
Back to basics:
At the heart of the new system are the local health and care services people use on a daily basis. Family doctors, nurses, pharmacists and online/telephone services will continue to be the first port of call for most people needing health care.
In the new health and care system people will have more say about the care they receive and doctors, nurses and other health and care professionals will have more freedom to shape services to meet people’s needs. A wider range of health care providers will provide more choice for patients and greater value.
Health and wellbeing boards:
In every local area these will enable all health and care services to work together to respond to communities’ needs and priorities. They will be a voice for local patients and communities by involving people and community organisations in deciding what services the community needs. This work will inform those who commission services – local authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups – so that they can work in partnership and use their budgets to commission the best available services for local people.
Patients and the public will be served locally by a range of organisations. Among these, local authorities will commission care and support services and also have a new responsibility to protect and improve health and wellbeing.
Doctors, nurses and other professionals will form clinical commissioning groups and use their knowledge of local health needs to commission the best available services to meet them, while Local Healthwatch will give patients and communities a voice in decisions that affect them. Local Education and Training Boards will enable health professionals and providers of care to work together to improve the quality of education and training in each local area, benefitting patients and the public as well as organisations providing health care.
A range of existing and new national organisations will work to support providers of care. Among these, the NHS Commissioning Board will ensure that the money spent on NHS services delivers the best possible care for patients.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence will provide guidance to help health and social care professionals deliver the best possible care based on the best available evidence, while Health Education England will make sure the healthcare workforce has the right skills and training to improve the care patients receive.
Other national organisations supporting providers of care include the NHS Trust Development Authority; the National Institute for Health Research; the Health and Social Care Information Centre; NHS Blood and Transplant; the NHS Litigation Authority; and the NHS Business Services Authority.
Regulation and Safeguarding:
As the new system brings more freedom for those who plan, commission and provide services, new and existing health and care regulators will safeguard the interests of patients and the wider public. Among these, the Care Quality Commission is the independent regulator of all health and social care services in England, while Monitor's primary role will be to protect and promote the interests of people who use health care services.
Other regulators include the Health Research Authority, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, the Human Tissue Authority and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. In addition, most health and social care professionals are registered with one of the independent professional regulators which help protect the public by ensuring that professional standards are met.
Secretary of State, The Department of Health, Parliament and Other Government Departments:
The Secretary of State for Health has ultimate responsibility for ensuring the whole system works together to respond to the priorities of communities and meet the needs of patients. He is accountable to Parliament for the provision of the health service in England.
The Department of Health is the system leader for health and care. It supports its arm's length bodies and ensures that they deliver services according to agreed national priorities. It sets objectives and budgets and holds the system to account on behalf of the Secretary of State. It also works with other parts of government to promote health and wellbeing across all public services.
For more information on the NHS changes visit: http://healthandcare.dh.gov.uk/
Local Clinical Commissioning Groups:
- Birmingham CrossCity CCG - www.bhamcrosscityccg.nhs.uk
- Birmingham South Central CCG - www.bhamsouthcentralccg.nhs.uk
- Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG - www.sandwellandwestbhamccg.nhs.uk
- Solihull CCG - www.solihullccg.nhs.uk
- Birmingham East and North - http://legacy.benpct.nhs.uk
- Heart of Birmingham - www.legacy.hobtpct.nhs.uk
- Solihull - www.legacy.solihull.nhs.uk
- South Birmingham - www.legacy.sbpct.nhs.uk
- Birmingham City Council - www.birmingham.gov.uk
- Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council - www.solihull.gov.uk