The Health and Social Care Bill was given Royal Assent and became the Health and Social Care Act (2012) on March 27th. The Act enables doctors and nurses to tailor personalised services for their patients, and more choice (theoretically) should be given to patients about how they are treated. Bureaucracy in the NHS should be reduced.
The Act is intended to:
- Devolve decision-making to front-line doctors and nurses: Health professionals may design and tailor local health services with improved personalisation for their patients.
- Drive up quality and improve outcomes.
- Place greater focus on integration. There are to be obligations on the health service to promote integration of services.
- Strengthen public health: local authorities should be better able to pull together the work in the NHS, social care, housing, environmental health, leisure and transport services.
- Offer patients more information and choice. Patients will have a stronger voice through Healthwatch England and local Healthwatch.
- Increase local democratic involvement.