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Thursday 11 February 2021

MiP gives cautious welcome to NHS reforms

By MiP

MiP welcomes the principles behind the NHS white paper but warns it could be a "dangerous distraction" from fighting the pandemic.

Commenting on the NHS white paper Integration and Innovation, published today by health secretary Matt Hancock, Jon Restell, MiP chief executive, said:

“Managers welcome the white paper’s proposals to ditch wasteful competition, strengthen local planning and enshrine in law the merger of NHS England and NHS Improvement.

“But the government is still failing on social care reform. Integration of services will not work properly until the underfunding of social care is fixed.

“Managers and other NHS staff are exhausted and working at the limit. They should be focused on the pandemic and MiP warns that structural change could be a dangerous distraction. The public needs to know that the government is alive to the need to balance change, however necessary in the longer term, with urgent recovery plans for exhausted staff and to tackle waiting lists. 

“MiP welcomes Matt Hancock’s praise in the House today for managers for keeping services going during the pandemic. But we need a national programme to support staff and their employers through the changes, including assurances about job security in the short to medium term. 

"It is essential the government and system leaders act quickly to give confidence to staff in the current NHS bodies. History shows that prolonged uncertainty destabilises NHS structures and services, as people vote with their feet and get distracted by chaotic change programmes.”

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