In July 2010, we published the NHS White Paper, Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS, which set out the Government’s long-term vision for the future of the NHS. This vision builds on the core values and principles of the NHS – a comprehensive service, available to all, free at the point of use, based on need, not ability to pay.
Following three months of consultation, over 6,000 responses, and further policy development, I am pleased to be able to share the Government’s response to the consultations on Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS.
I would like to take this opportunity to give my personal thanks to everyone who responded to the consultation for the considerable time, effort and enthusiasm that you have invested in telling us how you think things could work. Your responses have provided valuable perspective on how the White Paper was received locally, highlighting the areas where there was most enthusiasm as well as the issues that raised greatest concern.
‘Liberating the NHS: Legislative framework and next steps’ reaffirms the Government’s vision for the NHS, enhanced through the consultation process, and sets out how we are now in a position to move forward with purpose on the principles for reform.
It also sets out several key areas where we have altered our approach as a result of the consultations, to create flexibility, empower local leaders and support the significant cultural change that respondents told us is necessary.
We are committed to the values of the NHS; and to add to them our commitment to shared decision-making for patients: ‘no decision about me, without me’; to professional leadership in a decentralised service; and to an ambition for our outcomes to be amongst the best in the world. We recognise the scale of this challenge. We are committed to practical and piloted development to secure these changes.
I look forward to continuing to meet and work with as wide a range of health and care professionals, patients and service users as possible as we take these reforms forward together.
Secretary of State for Health