Examination of Witnesses

Part of Health and Care Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:15 pm on 9th September 2021.

Alert me about debates like this

Andy Bell:

Yes, sure. Again, “integrated care”—we like the words; they are good—but the difficulty in a way is, first of all, the fact that this is very much an NHS-dominated set of proposals. It was written by NHS England for NHS England. I think that if we have a genuinely integrated system, where people will get support across the whole range of services, we need this to be an equal partnership between the NHS, local government, and voluntary and community organisations.

If you look at the proposals, in a sense what they are doing is taking decision making and power within the health and social care system further away from local communities into what are effectively sub-regional groupings. There is not anything very local about integrated care systems in many places, and that gives us some pause for thought. It is very much NHS dominated. If we look at the current health and care system, public health and social care are often the less well-funded and less well-resourced parts of the system. From what we see from the spending plans, it looks like that will become even more the case if you have legislation that, in a sense, reinforces the power of the NHS over other partners. I worry we are not going to get that real shift.