Health and Social Care Bill: what concerns remain?


  • The White Paper ‘Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS’ was published on 12 July 2010.
  • The Health and Social Care Bill was published on 19 January 2011.
  • The proposed “reforms” to the NHS have drawn widespread criticism from doctors, nurses health service managers and academics.
  • In March 2011 Liberal Democrat Conference clearly expressed disagreement with many of its provisions and likely effects.
  • In May and June the government engaged in a ‘listening exercise’.
  • Over 1,000 amendments have been made to the Bill.
  • Widespread concerns remain.
  • It is expected that more amendments will be suggested by the house of Lords.
  • My view is that the most constructive way forward would be to withdraw the current bill and address afresh the issues of how best to deliver an effective, efficient and integrated healthcare system for the next twenty years.
  • I have, nevertheless, prepared this paper in response to a request from our minister.
The full paper is 14 pages long (872 Kb download) but there are Five main areas where I believe the Health Bill causes problems. These are: 
  • The duty of a doctor
  • Competition and Choice
  • Privatisation
  • Democratic Accountability
  • Public Health
I shall post a short article on each of these areas soon.

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