This essay will examine the following statement in relation to reforms proposed in the Health and Social Care Bill 2011 “Funding and delivering high quality health and social care services is problematic to all governments irrespective of political persuasions” I will provide an overview of the bill and investigate through critical analysis recommendations in the Bill for clinically-led commissioning. This will enable me to illustrate the problems in delivering a high quality care service that is needed by the changing society and the challenges this causes policy makers who uphold the ideology of the NHS.
The Bill states that “ To safeguard its future the NHS needs to change to meet the challenges it faces - only by modernising can the NHS tackle the problems of today and avoid a crisis tomorrow” (Health and social care bill 2011). Smith (2011) reinforces this opinion as she highlights the problems faced by the NHS and infers that it was decisions made early on in its creation that has caused the escalating problems faced by the NHS today and that there is a ‘scramble’ to correct early mistakes but without a destroying the core ethos of the NHS.
The present government identifies the following reasons for restructuring and modification; a rise in demand and treatment cost, a need for improvements in services and the state of the public finances.
The rise in demand is in part due to an aging population and is reinforced by the prevalence of long-term health conditions. The high cost of treatments is derived from advances in medical science whereby expensive sophisticated techniques are available and specialist medications are employed to control or cure conditions. The poor services offered by the NHS has caused a fall in standards and it is at present well behind the standards of other European countries and its reputation for being a world leader is in question, lives could be saved or drastically improved with better access to facilities and services with availability extending countrywide. But Campbell (2012) argues that the modernisation of the NHS could have a diverse effect and provide worse care especially for the more serious conditions such as cancer as inequalities will be greater and poorer patients in lower socio-economic areas will be overlooked. The state of the public finances and tightening of budgets means that the past system was becoming increasingly unaffordable the new system will be responsive to the needs of patients and remove the layers of bureaucracy which consumed money that could be better spent on services. The British Medical Association (2010) stresses that it is not just finance that drives medical decisions as consideration must be given to the clinical need of the local heath community.
The key legislative changes in the bill are; clinically led commissioning, provider regulation to support innovative services, a greater voice for patients, a new focus for public heath, greater accountability locally...