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Response to Health White Paper

October 7, 2010

I have produced and submitted to the Department of Health a response to the Coalition Government’s Health White Paper Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS, on behalf of Tamarind Chambers.

It focuses on aspects of the White Paper affecting public engagement and accountability. It is particularly relevant to the perspectives of participants in public and patient involvement mechanisms including Local Involvement Networks, scrutiny bodies and local authority councillors, local voluntary and community organisations, patient and carers groups.

Whilst welcoming the general aims of the White Paper to make the NHS more patient centred and give citizens a greater say, the report questions whether this will really be achieved by these proposals.
The report says that more needs to be done to give citizens, as distinct from patients, an effective voice and that autonomy and freedom must be tempered by transparency and effective local accountability; strongly recommends that GP Commissioning Consortia will require more rigorous governance and clear local accountability and that the power of local authorities to scrutinise NHS decision and services on behalf of their local community should be retained; and raises concerns about the extent and speed of the changes, calling for continued dialogue and consultation as the proposals are developed and implemented.

The response has been informed by listening to a range of stakeholders, including patients, LINk participants, councillors and local voluntary and community organisations during the consultation period, and experience, as an elected councillor and community activist, and working to support and promote the development of community engagement, scrutiny and governance in the public, not-for-profit, voluntary and community sector.

You can download a copy of the response here – HealthWhitePaper response

I have produced further analysis and briefing materials about the Health White Paper, which can be found on the documents page.

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