The government has confirmed its commitment to bring in new health legislation during this Parliament, but social care reform has again been ‘kicked into the long grass’.
Today’s Queen’s Speech confirmed that planned, radical changes to the Health and Social Care Bill 2012 will be laid before Parliament this year.
The changes, first outlined in the government’s proposals this February, will put integrated care systems on a statutory footing, dissolve clinical commissioning groups, water down the internal market within the NHS and increase the powers the health secretary has over NHS England and the service.
Today’s Queen’s Speech said these changes meant “patients will receive more tailored and preventative care, closer to home [and will] empower the NHS to innovate and embrace technology”.
However, it did not add any further information to the government’s already stated plans to “bring forward proposals in 2021” for social care reform. The 2019 Queen’s Speech, the first delivered during Boris Johnson’s tenure as prime minister, promised to bring in ”legislation for long-term social care reform in England”. To date, the government has failed to act on this promise.
Source: HSJ, 11 May 2021
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