Health and social care reform

The Health and Social Care Act

The Health and Social Care Act received Royal Assent in March 2012. It has huge implications for patient care in England, placing into law the most extensive restructuring of the NHS in its history.

The implementation of the Act is ongoing, with new Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) taking on full responsibilities on 1 April 2013.

This section contains a record of the College’s response to the Act when it was passing through Parliament, as well as input the College has had on the passage of subsequent regulations that enforce the Act.

Section 75 Regulations

On 28 February 2013 the RCGP wrote to Ministers expressing our concerns that regulations laid before Parliament relating to Section 75 of the Health and Social Care Act would severely restrict CCGs’ freedom to decide not to expose services to market competition.

Read the RCGP’s letter to Earl Howe regarding the Section 75 regulations [PDF]

In response to concerns raised by RCGP and others, the Government revised and relaid these regulations before Parliament on 11 March. The RCGP believes that whilst the new version of the regulations is a step in the right direction, they do not go far enough in terms of clarifying that CCGs will have autonomy to decide not to put services out to competition.

Read the RCGP’s press statement in response to the new version of the regulation

On 14 March 2013 the RCGP wrote to the House of Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee expressing our view that Clause 5 should be removed from the new version of the regulations.

Read the RCGP’s letter to the House of Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee [PDF]

On 23rd April RCGP briefed members of the House of Lords ahead a motion to anul the new version of the regulations. RCGP called for the regulations to be withdrawn so that the wording of some sections (particularly Clause 5) could be clarified.

Read the RCGP's briefing to Members of the House of Lords regarding the Section 75 regulations [PDF]

On 24th April Peers voted not to anul the regulations. RCGP will be engaging with the regulator, Monitor, to ensure that assurances from the Government that CCGs will be free to chose not to put services out to competition where they feel this is in the best interests of patient care, are reflected in the guidance which will be used to interpret the regulations. 

RCGP activity during the Act’s passage through Parliament

 

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