Secretary of state for health Andrew Lansley is consulting on plans to give GPs control of much of the NHS budget and to abolish primary care trusts (PCTs) and strategic health authorities (SHAs) in favour of a new NHS Commissioning Board.
The white paper 'Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS' outlines the government's plans for reforming the NHS. It proposes shifting control to GPs to commission a wide range of services on behalf of their patients.
Replacing SHAs and PCTs will be the NHS Commissioning Board. This new board will 'will lead on the achievement of health outcomes, allocate and account for NHS resources, lead on quality improvement and promoting patient involvement and choice.'
The board has an 'explicit duty to promote equality and tackle inequalities in access to healthcare' and an 'explicit duty to address inequalities in outcomes from healthcare services.'
MHF CEO Peter Baker said 'The Forum has long campaigned on improving men's access to services and for health providers to comply with equality legislation by looking at local access and outcomes by gender. We hope that the government follows through on its good intentions and that GPs and local authorities take this opportunity to tackle men's poor health.'
Local authorities will take reponsibility for public health, including appointing directors of public health. However, GPs commissioning powers will include some public health work. Details on public health issues and a new public health service will be addressed in a further white paper in the autumn.
The government will ring-fence the public health budget, which will be 'allocated to reflect relative population health outcomes, with a new health premium to promote action to reduce health inequalities'.
The consultation on the plans will lead to a health bill in the autumn, the white paper includes a timetable for the changes with many coming in to force for April 2012. You can read the white paper on the Department of Health's site and related stories on the MHF's site below.
Page created on July 12th, 2010
Page updated on July 14th, 2010