Charities could be marginalised by the Government's Health Reforms
We have responded to the Government's 'Listening Exercise' on the future of the NHS and have sent a letter to the Prime Minister (242 KB) outlining some of our concerns with the Health Bill.
In the letter, we warn that the Health Bill risks hampering voluntary providers’ ability to influence GP consortia and urge the government to place obligations on the consortia to work more closely with Local Health and Wellbeing Boards and Local HealthWatch, which are the main bodies that communities and local organisations can use to influence decisions on commissioning services.
Sir Stuart Etherington, Chief Executive of NCVO, said:
‘The voluntary sector is a valuable source of expertise in helping to design health services that meet the needs of local people. However, the Health Bill as it currently stands risks sidelining voluntary organisations from contributing properly to service design. We urge the government to strengthen the measures in the Bill to ensuring that GP consortia incorporate the expertise and knowledge of their local voluntary and community sector in their thinking.’
We also raise concerns that larger providers could end up dominating the market, undermining one of the main aims of the Health Bill. We believe that GP consortia should have a remit which includes helping new organisations to become service providers, ensuring there is a diverse market of service providers in their area, and encouraging innovation.
Our response (PDF 57KB) is based on discussion with our members and feedback from a listening event held jointly with the Kings Fund.