White paper unifies health and social care in push for integrationKnowledge
In February, the government published its new white paper proposing a unified Health and Care Bill. The paper, 'Integration and innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all' builds on the overview recommendations for prevention, place-based care, integrated systems and supported self-management that are set out in the NHS Long Term Plan.
The proposals are designed to support our health and care system to work together to provide high-quality health and care, so that we live longer, healthier, active and more independent lives.
This, alongside the legal requirement for all health and care bodies to be part of an Integrated Care System from 1st April this year, could be another positive step towards a view of health far wider than that of hospital care or medical treatment. Indeed, integration is one of the key themes outlined in our recent report 'NHS Reset and Reform'.
However, Georgina Carr, CEO of the Neurological Alliance, cautions against allowing this white paper for NHS reorganisation to distract us from the task at hand - that of health and care service recovery. In a recent blog, she said:
'Whilst I broadly welcome the principle of integration underpinning the reforms, in the words of the white paper in itself, “these proposals are not intended to add up to a coherent reform package in themselves…” – leaving a fair few questions about how exactly the proposed vision will deliver improved outcomes for people with neurological conditions.'