The government has this morning published its response to its white paper on the NHS, setting out how it will take the reforms forward.
Liberating the NHS: Legislative Framework and Next Steps outlines how ministers will press ahead with their radicals reforms.
In the foreword, health secretary Andrew Lansley and minister Paul Burstow warn that while the health budget will grow by 10 per cent in cash terms over the spending review period “these resources need to be used to support change”.
They write: “Put simply, for all the efforts and endeavours of frontline staff, outcomes for patients still lag behind the best healthcare systems internationally. In addition, productivity in the NHS has declined in the recent years. Through the coming years, every part of the NHS needs to make every penny count for patients.
“The energy and enthusiasm on the frontline to make these reforms happen demonstrate that we were right to embark on this journey. One-quarter of the country is already covered by ‘pathfinder’ GP consortia.
They add: “By next year, we expect 25,000 staff – delivering some £900m of NHS community services – to be doing so as members of social enterprises. The further development of NHS foundation trusts is proceeding at pace.
“This document sets out how the government will legislate for and implement our reforms, drawing on the insights and experience contributed by those who responded to the consultation. It sets out how the white paper’s reform programme will be taken forward to completion, and how the vision it contains will be made into a reality.”
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