Tower Hamlets Paralegal Vacancy
Local authorities handed new responsibilities as NHS overhaul sees PCTs axed PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 13 July 2010 10:26

Local authorities will take on the health improvement functions currently carried out by primary care trusts in a radical overhaul of the NHS, the government has announced.

The White Paper Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS, published yesterday by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, also said the coalition will simplify and extend the use of powers that enable joint working between the NHS and local authorities.

Other key announcements include the establishment of an NHS Commissioning Board to lead on achieving health outcomes and allocating resources, a network of GP consortia with responsibility for commissioning care, and a Public Health Service to cover public health evidence and analysis. All NHS trusts will become or be part of a foundation trust under the plans, with the government aiming to create “the largest social enterprise sector in the world”.

Local authorities will take on the function of joining up the commissioning of local NHS services, social care and health improvement. PCTs – and strategic health authorities – will be scrapped, most likely in 2013.

The government said the move would “realise administrative cost savings, and achieve greater alignment with local government responsibilities for local health and wellbeing”. The transfer of local health improvement functions will involve ring-fenced funding and accountability to the Secretary of State for Health.

Local authorities’ responsibilities “will include:

  • Promoting integration and partnership working between the NHS, social care, public health and other local services and strategies
  • Leading joint strategic needs assessments, and promoting collaboration on joint commissioning plans, including by supporting joint commissioning arrangements where each party so wishes, and
  • Building partnership for service changes and priorities. There will be an escalation process to the NHS Commissioning Board and the Secretary of State, which retain accountability for NHS Commissioning decisions.”

The paper adds: “As well as elected members of the local authority, all relevant NHS commissioners will be involved in carrying out these functions, as will the Directors of Public Health, adult social services, and children’s services. They will all be under the duties of partnership.”

Representatives of Local HealthWatch – local involvement networks that will be part of a new independent consumer champion, HealthWatch England, based within the Care Quality Commission – will ensure feedback from patients and service users is reflected in commissioning plans. Local HealthWatch will be funded and accountable to local authorities.

The new arrangements will be delivered by “health and wellbeing boards”, which will take the place of the current statutory functions of health overview and scrutiny committees.

“These boards allow local authorities to take a strategic approach and promote integration across health and adult social care, children’s services, including safeguarding, and the wider local authority agenda,” the paper said.

The arrangements are also intended to give local authorities influence over NHS commissioning and corresponding influence for NHS commissioners in relation to public health and social care.

The paper said: “While NHS commissioning will be the sole preserve of the NHS Commissioning Board and GP consortia, our aim is to ensure coherent and coordinated local commissioning strategies across all three services, for example in relation to mental health or elderly care.

“The Secretary of State will seek to ensure strategic coordination nationally; the local authority’s new functions will enable strategic coordination locally. It will not involve day-to-day interventions in NHS services.”

The Department of Health said it will consult fully on the details of the new arrangements, which it claimed were about devolving powers from Whitehall to patients and professionals, and streamlining the NHS.  It expects £20bn in efficiency savings by 2014.

Patients will have more choice and control, based on the principle of “no decisions about me without me”, it said. Patients will be able to choose which GP practice to register with, regardless of where they live.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: “The NHS is our priority. That is why the coalition government has committed to increases in NHS resources in real terms each year of this Parliament. The sick must not pay for the debt crisis left by the previous administration.

“But the NHS is a priority for reform too. Investment has not been matched by reform. So we will reform the NHS to use those resources far more effectively for the benefit of patients.”

Cllr David Rogers, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, called for councils to be given a central role in the outcome of any NHS reorganisation.

He said: “They know their area best and working in partnership with health professionals are best placed to help improve the health of residents and respond to circumstances in their areas.

“Town halls want to promote healthy, active lifestyles and help people live longer, happier lives. With a long and proven history of addressing public health issues, they are ideally placed to deliver these goals and guarantee public involvement in local commissioning decisions."

 

Latest News

April 17, 2014

Benefits of McKenzie Friends outweigh risks: Legal Services Consumer Panel

The access to justice benefits of having fee-charging Mckenzie Friends outweigh the risks, a report by the Legal Services Consumer Panel (LSCP) has said. Read more
April 16, 2014

Watchdog issues briefing on Supreme Court deprivation of liberty ruling

The Care Quality Commission has published a briefing on the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards for providers in the light of a landmark ruling last month by the Supreme Court. Read more
April 15, 2014

Family President makes adoption order in "final chapter" of C-section case

The President of the Family Division has this month made an adoption order for the baby girl at the centre of a high-profile case where the Court of Protection authorised a delivery by Caesarean section. Read more
April 14, 2014

Supreme Court to hear case on EU migrants and temporary inability to work

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear an EU national’s appeal over a ruling that he was not eligible for housing assistance from a local authority as his inability to work was not temporary. Read more
April 10, 2014

Consultation – backing no horses, and the importance of interim relief

David Hart QC looks at the lessons to be learned from a recent Court of Appeal ruling that a council had failed to consult properly on the closure of a day care centre. Read more

 

Features

Data inspection iStock 000008204804XSmall 146x219
April 02, 2014

The Duty of Candour - and general transparency

The Department of Health has published details of the proposed statutory Duty of Candour for health and adult social care providers, as well as a new general transparency duty. Corinne Slingo, Tracey Longfield and Belinda Dix examine the key points. Read more
adult social services portrait1
April 02, 2014

The Better Care Fund - what is in it for housing providers?

What opportunities does the Better Care Fund offer housing providers? David Owens explains. Read more
March 26, 2014

Damages for deprivation of liberty

The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Street consider what can be learned from two damages settlements for deprivations of liberty. Read more
March 20, 2014

Getting capacity right

The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Street examine a case concerning the crossover between the inherent jurisdiction and the CoP. Read more
February 26, 2014

The Care Bill, eligibility criteria and consultation

Jonathan Auburn and Benjamin Tankel examine the introduction through the Care Bill of new eligibility criteria and consider whether local authorities will need to consult and conduct equalities impact analysis. Read more

 

Older news and features

March 20, 2014

Getting capacity right

February 20, 2014

Who pays?

Click here for full section archive

Now Previewing on LGL.tv: Zambrano Update (Click on symbol in bottom right-hand corner for full size.)

Featured Jobs

DAC Beachcroft Healthcare Regulatoy Lawyer


CLICK HERE to search all current vacancies

Featured Courses & Events

Sign up for Courses and Events Updates

* indicates required

Services v2

Yellow pages iStock 000009762383XSmall cropTo access details of individual advertisers, please click on the relevant banner below.

To search all entries in the Local Government Lawyer Services Directory, please click here

 

No 37 Park Square Chambers
InRealTime Translation

 


 Shout_to_the_top_looking_left_iStock_000006002590XSmall_98x74 Latest Blog Posts

 

 


 

Ballot_iStock_000006080605XSmall_thumb

Snap Judgement

Is the role of monitoring officer worth the risk?