Plans to modernise the NHS and put patients at the heart of everything it does were set out in the Health and Social Care Bill, published today.
The proposed changes will lead to better quality care, more choice and improved outcomes for patients, as well as long-term financial savings for the NHS, which will be available for reinvestment to improve care. Under the new measures there will, for the first time, be a defined legal duty for the NHS and the whole care system to improve continuously the quality of patient care in the areas of effectiveness, safety, and - most importantly - patient experience.
The Health and Social Care Bill 2011 includes proposals to:
The plans would improve the NHS in five key ways:
These measures will also save the NHS over £5bn by 2014/15 and then £1.7 bn every year after that - enough money to pay for over 40,000 extra nurses, 17,000 extra doctors or over 11,000 extra senior doctors every year. The majority of the savings would come from a significant reduction in bureaucracy following the abolition of strategic health authorities and primary care trusts, and a reduction in management staff by an estimated 24,500 posts. The changes would pay for themselves by 2012/13 and the subsequent savings would give the NHS a stable financial basis for the future.
The Bill was published today (19 January 2011). It will proceed through the Houses of Parliament over the coming months.
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