We aim to give NHS providers greater freedom to help them deliver the best possible care for patients, and to make it easier for new providers to offer services.
Hospitals that perform well will get more money to develop their services. Performance will be measured by whether patients’ health and wellbeing improves rather than by targets. For example, instead of performance being measured against waiting times, it would be measured against things such as how many patients who suffer a stroke are able to live independently.
Will clinicians be able to compete to deliver services?
There will be more opportunities for clinicians providing community services to compete for contracts to deliver services. If, for example, a group of physiotherapists, speech and language therapists and care professionals want to set up a social enterprise to deliver care for people who’ve suffered a stroke, it will be much easier for them to do this.
How easy will it be for new providers to offer services?
It will be much easier for new providers – whether they are social enterprises or independent – to win contracts to deliver services on behalf of GP consortia. But there will be much greater transparency about how well any service is performing, and patients, local GPs and councils will have stronger levers to hold underperforming services to account.
Under the reforms, all Trusts will become Foundation Trusts and will benefit from increased freedom to improve their services. These include the removal of the private patient cap and borrowing limits as well as barriers that currently make mergers and new partnerships difficult.
How will the system be managed?
From April 2012, Monitor will become the economic regulator for health and social care, driving efficiency by regulating prices, promoting competition and preventing anti-competitive behaviour. Monitor will also protect patients’ interests by ensuring essential NHS services are maintained if a provider fails.