The Health and Social Care Bill has sparked a huge amount of debate around the future of the NHS, and the planned reforms have been changed significantly following the government’s listening exercise. There is now a particular commitment to integrated NHS services and the involvement of a wider range of staff in their design.
The reforms will see primary care trusts (PCTs) and strategic health authorities (SHAs) abolished, with responsibility for commissioning being handed to GP-led groups, supported by a new national commissioning board, and local health and wellbeing boards. Nurses, specialist doctors and other clinicians will also be involved in making local decisions about the commissioning of care. The focus on locally run services, with commissioning groups and the health and wellbeing boards, moving away from top-down management, has been widely welcomed. This is considered to be a great opportunity to design and deliver services that truly integrate around individual patient needs.
Virtus sponsored the second annual NHS Reform conference at London’s Barbican Centre on 10th November 2011. The conference provided an opportunity to showcase the work that Virtus is delivering for Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, delivering 30% savings in energy consumption over a 5 year programme. The pathfinder project contributes significantly to the efficiency savings to be made by the Trust as part of the for NHS’s national challenge to deliver £20bn in efficiency savings.