National call for views on proposals to help the NHS deliver its Long Term Plan

Date exercise ended - Thursday, April 25, 2019

As part of a national engagement exercise, NHS England and NHS Improvement has launched a call for views on how targeted amendments to the law could help local and national health organisations work together more effectively to improve services for patients.

At a joint board meeting of NHS England and NHS Improvement, national leaders of the NHS approved a series of proposals for legal changes which they believe would help local health leaders deliver on the improvements for patients set out in the NHS Long Term Plan.

The suggestions include changing the law to:

  • Encourage local health organisations to work more closely together, towards a shared goal of improving the health of the communities they serve, the quality of services, and the sustainability of the NHS;
  • Reduce delays and costs associated with current procurement processes, while maintaining patient choice and introducing a new ‘best value’ test to ensure value for money for taxpayers;
  • Allow different health organisations – such as hospitals, groups of GPs and voluntary groups and social enterprises – to come together to provide joined-up services which better meet the needs of local people in partnership with local government, and;
  • Remove the barriers to greater coordination between the national NHS organisations, creating a single national voice for the NHS and making it easier to work together on the most important issues facing the health service, such as prevention, the workforce, and harnessing the opportunities presented by digital technology.

NHS England chief executive, Simon Stevens, said: “We heard from lots of people involved in developing the NHS Long Term Plan that progress would be accelerated towards a better integrated health service if some targeted changes could be made to the law.

“The proposals we have set out today are based on those initial conversations with local NHS leaders and senior clinicians, and we are now seeking a wider range of views before making our final recommendations to Parliament.”

NHS Improvement chief executive, Ian Dalton, said: “Hospitals, local health groups and councils in many areas are already seeing real benefits from greater joint working, but face frustration when they can’t go as far as they would like to improve patient care just because the law hasn’t kept up.

“So, while it’s possible to implement the NHS Long Term Plan without significant changes, this is a welcome opportunity to hear the views of staff, patients and the public about how we can overcome some of the obstacles to providing the kind of joined-up services we all want to see.”

The engagement period will end on 25 April 2019.

The responses to the call for views will help develop a set of final recommendations to Ministers and Parliament later in the year.

For further information about how you can get involved, visit NHS England’s website.


Visit the ‘How we use your views’ section for examples of where your feedback has informed our work, plans and strategies.