New NHS bill is in the right direction, but risks remain – Nuffield Trust

Nigel Edwards responds to NHS England’s recommendations for an NHS Integrated Care Bill.

Press release

Published: 26/09/2019

Commenting on NHS England’s recommendations for an NHS Integrated Care Bill, Nuffield Trust Chief Executive Nigel Edwards said:

“This proposed legislation would move us in the right direction, helping put a more joined-up NHS on a sounder footing. We were pleased to see steps taken to tighten up on the possible risks to patient choice pointed out by us and others.

“We still see a risk that unifying NHS and other bodies locally will lead to cosy monopolies in some places, or stronger centralisation as the hierarchy tries to balance them. The proposed statutory guidance about governance and conflicts of interest will need to be strong and clear. It is a good step forward to limit central power over capital decisions by foundation trusts, but overall this still takes away autonomy and might make it harder for trusts to motivate their staff to build up savings.”

Notes to editors

  1. NHS England’s Recommendations to Government and Parliament for an NHS Integrated Care Bill were published today as a paper for their board meeting and can be seen here.
  2. The Nuffield Trust is an independent health think tank. We aim to improve the quality of health care in the UK by providing evidence-based research and policy analysis and informing and generating debate.