1.In February 2021, the Department for Health and Social Care published its White Paper, Integration and Innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all, setting out the Government’s proposals for reform of the health and care sector. The Government’s intention is to present a Bill to give effect to these proposals at the start of the 2021–22 parliamentary session. Should the Bill receive Royal Assent, implementation of the reforms will take place in 2022.
2.The Rt Hon. Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, wrote to the Chair inviting us to scrutinise the White Paper in advance of the Bill being introduced, to help inform Government thinking. Therefore, in the time available to us, we held three evidence sessions. At the first session, on 2 March, we took evidence from Richard Murray, Chief Executive, The King’s Fund; Hugh Alderwick, Head of Policy, The Health Foundation; and Nigel Edwards, Chief Executive, The Nuffield Trust; Danny Mortimer, Chief Executive, NHS Confederation; Sarah Pickup, Deputy Chief Executive, Local Government Association; Sir Robert Francis, Chair, Healthwatch England; and Chris Hopson, Chief Executive, NHS Providers. The second evidence session was held on 9 March with Sir Simon Stevens, Chief Executive, NHS England; and Amanda Pritchard, Chief Operating Officer, NHS England and NHS Improvement. At the final session we took evidence from Rt Hon Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and Jason Yiannikkou, Director of NHS Legislation Programme at Department of Health and Social Care. We thank them for the evidence they gave and the insights they had on the proposals.
3.Given the time constraints, we focussed on the purpose of the reforms, patient choice and potential implementation (Chapter 2), Integrated Care Systems (Chapter 3), social care (Chapter 4), workforce planning (Chapter 5), additional powers for the Secretary of State (Chapter 6), public health (Chapter 7) and proposals to reduce bureaucracy and increase innovation (Chapter 8).