IPPR has welcomed the government's proposals to make the health service more locally accountable, and to better integrate health and social care, expected to be published in a white paper today (Wednesday), but called for better support for the health and care workforce.
Parth Patel, IPPR research fellow who also works as an NHS hospital doctor, said:
This new plan for the NHS is an important move away from the misguided, Whitehall-led policies of the past decade. It passes power and responsibility to local leaders - people within the NHS and local government who really understand and represent communities they are working with. And it will lead to more services that put the patient first.
There is little in the white paper to support fears that health and social care integration will lead to privatisation of these important services. But there remains work to do. We need far bolder action to address health inequalities that blight our country, proper support for our chronically over-stretched health and care workforce, and greater fiscal powers for local government if ambitions in today's white paper are to be fulfilled.
An IPPR report published in September found a postcode lottery in the degree of integration across England was contributing to unequal access to treatment and support.
Parth Patel, IPPR research fellow who also works as an NHS hospital doctor, is available for interview
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NOTES TO EDITORS
- IPPR's set out its own recommendations for better integrating the health and care systems, and devolving decision-making to local communities, in its report Solving the Puzzle: Delivering on the promise of integration in health and care, published last September at https://www.ippr.org/research/publications/solving-the-integration-puzzle
- IPPR is the UK's pre-eminent progressive think tank. With more than 40 staff in offices in London, Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh, IPPR is Britain's only national think tank with a truly national presence. www.ippr.org