Documents to download

The bill gives effect to policies set out as part of NHS England’s recommendations for legislative reform following the Long Term Plan and the Integration and Innovation white paper. It would abolish clinical commissioning groups and replace them with integrated care boards (ICBs) to commission hospital and other health services. It would establish integrated care partnerships (ICPs) to bring together ICBs and local authorities to produce an integrated care strategy for their area. NHS England and NHS Improvement would be merged. New powers would be given to the secretary of state, including the power to direct NHS England, to intervene earlier in the reconfiguration of local NHS services, and to transfer functions between NHS bodies. The NHS would no longer be subject to competitive tendering requirements and enforced competition between NHS providers.

The bill contains many other measures, including: setting mandatory information standards for data across the health and adult social care system; establishing the Health Services Safety Investigations Board as a statutory body; making virginity testing an offence; and restricting the advertising of less healthy food and drinks on television, on-demand programme services and online. 

Following a government amendment to the bill at report stage in the House of Commons, means-tested financial support provided by a local authority towards an individual’s personal care costs would not count towards the new £86,000 cap on care costs. This amendment to the bill was controversial.

Other concerns raised about the bill have centred on the level of involvement that private healthcare companies would be able to have in ICBs and the level of transparency in awarding contracts under a new procurement regime. The bill has also been criticised for introducing a major reorganisation of the NHS while it is still dealing with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, and for not doing enough to address staffing shortfalls in the NHS and the social care sector. The Government sought to address some concerns about the bill through amendments during its passage through the House of Commons, but the Labour Party and others argue these amendments did not go far enough.


Documents to download

Related posts

  • Social media: potential harm to children

    Social media platforms can be sources of learning, advice and support for children and young people. However, concern has been expressed about the use of these platforms as conduits for abuse, cyberbullying and content promoting self-harm. The Government’s upcoming Online Safety Bill aims to improve safety of children online.

    Social media: potential harm to children
  • Covid-19: motions to approve statutory instruments relating to public health

    On 8 December 2021, the Government announced that England would move to ‘plan B’ of its Covid-19 response. This followed concerns about the increased spread of the Covid-19 Omicron variant in the UK. Plan B consists of several measures that the Government is now seeking to implement. The House of Lords is due to consider some of these measures on 15 December 2021.

    Covid-19: motions to approve statutory instruments relating to public health
  • Mandatory vaccines for health and care workers: latest regulations

    The draft Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) (No. 2) Regulations 2021 would place a requirement on health and social care workers who have face-to-face contact with service users, including volunteers, to provide evidence that they have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19. They would need to do so in order to be deployed, though there would be exemptions for certain staff. The policy has been met with criticism by several medical bodies.

    Mandatory vaccines for health and care workers: latest regulations