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Health bill still needs amendments

The Forum today called for seven key changes to be made to the government's Health and Social Care Bill.

Top of the list of amendments suggested in a letter to the parliamentary committee scrutinising the bill is the idea that the new NHS Commissioning Board should include a Gender Equalities Board.

MHF CEO Peter Baker explained why. 'The government has said that the commissioning board should tackle inequalities but it is not clear how they will work with GP consortia to do this. The committee needs to ensure this loophole is closed.'

The seven recommendations in full:

  • Establish a Gender Equalities Board within the NHS Commissioning Board, to ensure that gender health inequalities are tackled throughout the NHS and task it with developing best practice guidance for GP consortia, to assist them to commission and operate gender sensitive health services.
  • Incentivise the commissioning of services that tackle gender inequalities in health outcomes by linking these outcomes to GP practice income.
  • Ensure that local HealthWatch organisations are required to engage with those who experience the worst health inequalities either directly or through appropriate local voluntary, community and faith groups.
  • Ensure that HealthWatch England engages with organisations that represent and have access to seldom-heard and marginalised groups who experience the worst health inequalities.
  • Give Health and Well-being Boards sufficient powers to ensure that GP consortia and others, commission services to address the health inequalities highlighted by local Joint Strategic Needs Assessments.
  • Ensure that the NHS Commissioning Board has sufficient powers to ensure that GP consortia fulfil their duty to tackle health inequalities.
  • Ensure that there is a duty to include voluntary sector representation on Health and Well-being Boards.

6/10/10: MHF's response to the government's initial white paper

Page created on March 3rd, 2011

Page updated on March 3rd, 2011