Health secretary Andrew Lansley has criticised the “obsessive” focus on commissioning consortia, ahead of the publication of the health and social care bill later today.
Speaking at the HSJ Delivering a New Approach to Public Health conference in London, Mr Lansley said public health policy was probably more significant than reforms to the structure of the NHS.
He said: “I very often rail at the TV screen and the radio, because they are completely obsessed with the question of GP-led commissioning and ignore that there are many things we are doing – of which one of the most significant in the bill is the transfer of public health responsibility to local government and the creation of a structure to support local health improvement plans.”
He added: “From my point of view, our plans for public health are at least as significant – perhaps in the long-term the most significant aspect of what we are trying to do – as compared to the plans for the reform and modernisation of the health services.”
The government is due to publish its health and social care bill this afternoon, ushering in the reforms set out in the white paper Liberating the NHS. A separate bill will be published on public health later in the year.