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Health and Care Bill Published

The Department for Health and Social Care has published the Health and Care Bill. The Bill has been introduced to Parliament and the next stage is the Second Reading, the date for which has yet to be announced.

An overview of the key provisions of the Bill:

· Ensures each part of England has an integrated Care Board (ICB) and an Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) responsible for bringing together local NHS and local government, such as social care, mental health services and public health advice.

· Aims to ensure greater collaboration between the NHS and local authorities, introducing a new power that allows the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to issue guidance on cooperation between NHS bodies, and between NHS bodies and local authorities.

· Contains provision for the development of a new procurement regime for the NHS and public health procurement, informed by public consultation, to “reduce bureaucracy on commissioners and providers alike”, and reduce the need for competitive tendering where it adds limited or no value.

· Includes measures to address specific needs in the social care sector. These aim to improve oversight and accountability in the delivery of services through new assurance and data sharing measures in social care, update the legal framework to enable person-centred models of hospital discharge, and introduce improved powers for the Secretary of State to directly make payments to adult social care providers where required.

Second Reading is scheduled for 14 July 2021

The Bill can be found at the following link: Health and Care Bill