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National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill

Part of New Member – in the House of Commons at 12:21 pm on 21st November 2014.

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Photo of Daniel Poulter Daniel Poulter The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health 12:21 pm, 21st November 2014

I will come on later to the costs that the hon. Gentleman’s Bill would directly create. The point is that we should be proud—the Labour party should be supporting the Government—that we are reducing administration and bureaucratic costs, because that money is now being spent on patients. Why cannot Labour for once accept that a good thing has happened and that more money is now going into front-line patient care?

The second effect of the 2012 Act is that it empowered local doctors and nurses, as those closest to and most able to determine the needs of their patients, to design and lead the delivery of services around the needs of those patients. Thirdly, the Act placed great importance on and sought to drive increased integration across our NHS, a point clearly articulated by my hon. Friend David Tredinnick. Commissioners had duties placed on them by the Act to consider how services could be provided in a more integrated way, and we have since built on the Act by supporting a number of integration pioneer sites, which will trail-blaze new ideas to bring care closer together, particularly for frail elderly people and people with complex care needs. They will be leaders of change—a change we have to see in the health system, if we want to offer the very best quality of care to patients.

We are also supporting the health and care system through the £5.3 billion better care fund, with commissioners working in partnership with local authorities to deliver more integrated person-centred care. Offering seven-day services and delivering care that is centred on patients’ needs will encourage organisations to act earlier to prevent people from reaching crisis point. That is the sort of clinical leadership that the Act has fostered. It will refocus the point of care towards more proactive community-based care, for the benefit of so many patients.