Questions answered

We’ll answer some of the common questions about the modernisation of health and care here.

Some of answers will directly refer to coverage of the reforms, some will signpost authoritative content or data on the DH website or elsewhere. If you have a question that you’d like us to answer here, please post it on the Your questions answered page.

Is the Health Bill being recommitted?

The Department of Health has been asked whether the Health and Social Care Bill is being recommitted, following reports in the media. We won’t decide that until we have received the NHS Future Forum report and have responded to that. … Read more →Is the Health Bill being recommitted?

Question: What is meant by “pause, listen, reflect and improve”?

The Secretary of State Andrew Lansley said in a statement to the House of Commons on 4 April that the Government will “take the opportunity of a natural break in the passage of the bill to pause, to listen and… Read more →Question: What is meant by “pause, listen, reflect and improve”?

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Question: Will there be a postcode lottery and will patients lose their say?

Patients are being put in the driving seat. Through improved choice and better information, patients will be able to hold their GPs to account. Services are being made more responsive to the needs of local communities. Those buying in services… Read more →Question: Will there be a postcode lottery and will patients lose their say?

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Question: If you are removing waiting time targets, won’t waiting times increase?

The Department is clear that waiting times guarantees which are clinically justified will not be removed. For example, patients will still be seen within two weeks where cancer is suspected. Further, the NHS Operating Framework for 2011/12 makes clear the… Read more →Question: If you are removing waiting time targets, won’t waiting times increase?

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Question: Will ‘Any Qualified Provider’ lead to privatisation of the NHS, with private companies cherry picking the easiest cases and services?

Health Ministers have said that they will never privatise the NHS. Providers are organisations that provide services direct to patients, including hospitals, mental health services and ambulance services. NHS providers (eg physiotherapists) will be given more freedom to help them… Read more →Question: Will ‘Any Qualified Provider’ lead to privatisation of the NHS, with private companies cherry picking the easiest cases and services?

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Question: What do healthcare professionals think about the modernisation of the NHS?

A number of stories in the media this week are looking ahead to the special meeting of the BMA’s representative body to discuss the planned changes to the NHS, and the possible reaction of healthcare professionals. A DH spokesman said:… Read more →Question: What do healthcare professionals think about the modernisation of the NHS?

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Question: will modernisation reduce healthcare standards?

Reports in the media this week include claims from Dr Mark Porter of the British Medical Association that the NHS modernisation plans will reduce the standard of health care provision to the 1930s. In response, Health Minister Simon Burns said:… Read more →Question: will modernisation reduce healthcare standards?

Question: can GPs profiteer from commissioning?

Several reports in the media this week claim that GPs will be able to profiteer from the new commissioning arrangements by keeping any savings they make. In particular, it has been reported that private health firm IHP plans to set… Read more →Question: can GPs profiteer from commissioning?

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