What’s happening with the Health Bill now?
As you know, there is currently a three month ‘pause’ on the Health Bill, during which time the government will be carrying out its Listening Exercises, which were launched on 6th April 2011. For more information, you can find a copy of the DH press release announcing the launch of these exercises at http://healthandcare.dh.gov.uk/nhs-engagement-exercise/
NB: After the pause, you can continue to track the progress of the Health Bill at http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2010-11/healthandsocialcare.html
What are the Listening Exercises all about?
The Listening Exercises are not a separate consultation. Instead, the Department of Health has instructed SHAs to make sure that any major events that they run during the pause are used to form part of the Listening Exercises. The Listening Exercises are an opportunity for the government to ‘pause, listen, reflect and improve’ and are an opportunity for people to share their views and have their voices heard.
What is the NHS Future Forum and how is it involved in the Listening Exercises?
The NHS Future Forum is a group which has been formed by the Department of Health to oversee the NHS Listening Exercises.
The NHS Future Forum is a group of clinicians, patient representatives, voluntary sector representatives and others from the health field, including frontline staff. This group will drive the process of engagement with staff, patients and communities over the coming weeks. The group will be chaired by Professor Steve Field, immediate past Chairman at the Royal College of GPs. To see a full list of the Future Forum’s members, please visit the link at http://library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/1102665899193-511/Full+list+Future+Forum+Members.pdf
Members from the NHS Future Forum will attend the NHS Listening Events and will report to the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Health on what they have heard on the following four key themes:
- the role of choice and competition for improving quality
- how to ensure public accountability and patient involvement in the new system
- how new arrangements for education and training can support the modernisation process
- how advice from across a range of healthcare professions can improve patient care
Each theme has a dedicated lead – you can find out who is leading on which theme here: http://healthandcare.dh.gov.uk/leads-speak-about-roles/
The NHS Future Forum is expected to meet regularly over the next few weeks, with weekly teleconferences and several full day meetings. A programme of events across the country is also being arranged to ensure that the Forum engages with all stakeholders and communities.
You can find out more about the NHS Future Forum at the DH website at http://healthandcare.dh.gov.uk/category/conversations/future-forum/.
What is happening in the North West?
For information about what is happening in the North West around ‘Working Together for a Stronger NHS’, please visit the NHS North West website at http://www.northwest.nhs.uk/yournhs/liberatingthenhs/working%20together%20for%20a%20stronger%20nhs.html
How do I have my say?
You can get involved with the NHS listening exercise in a number of different ways.
• By completing and submitting an online form
• By post
• By email
For details on how to send in your feedback, please visit http://healthandcare.dh.gov.uk/listening-exercise-how-to-get-involved/
You can also keep up to date with the latest coverage and announcements on this website or by following the Department of Health on Twitter.
You can also request alternative versions of any of these documents by contacting the Department of Health by email.
What is the deadline for my feedback?
All responses and views should be submitted by 31st May 2011 to inform the Government’s response to the listening exercise. However, the Department of Health would be grateful to receive responses as early as possible so that they can use these can help shape the NHS Future Forum’s initial advice to the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Health, which is due to be submitted by the end of May.
What has been said so far?
To see the responses that the Department of Health have received so far, please visit http://healthandcare.dh.gov.uk/comments-round-up-what-youve-told-the-future-forum-so-far/
What happens next?
The Forum will feed back to the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Health on what they have heard at the Listening events by the end of May.
A Listening Report is then expected to be due for publication in early June.
Following this, the Forum is expected to continue playing 'an active role in listening and advising on other non-legislative aspects of the modernisation plans, implementation of the changes, and the design of any secondary legislation'.