The new Health and Care Bill (which has now received Royal Assent) sets out legislative changes required to change to enable health and care to work more closely together.
In Cheshire and Merseyside, it has long been our ambition to improve the way services work together, but bureaucracy has often made this challenging. The reforms therefore support us locally by removing some of the legal rules that can get in the way of truly joining up care.
A duty to collaborate will be created to promote joint working across healthcare, public health, and social care. The duty will apply to both NHS organisations and local authorities. There will also be a focus on removing the legislation that hinders collaboration and joint decision-making.
In effect, the reforms give us the opportunity to make our vision a reality. However, while legislation can help to create the right conditions, it will be our hard work that will make the biggest difference.
A shared duty to have regard for the ‘triple aim’ of better health and wellbeing for everyone, better care for all people and sustainable use of NHS resources is the key driver.