HLA:THINK

Welcome to the inaugural policy update from HLA:THINK

Through these regular updates we will share with you some of the key developments in different areas of health and care policy, all through publicly available resources.

If you are interested in the work of HLA:THINK and would like to get involved,
feel free to contact us on think@thehealthcareleadership.academy

NHS Reform

This month’s major policy development was the publication of the Government’s white paper on health and social care. These proposals build on the NHS Long Term Plan and, if passed into law, would replace the Health and Social Care Act. The white paper builds on the recommendations made by NHS England and NHS Improvement. You can find a helpful summary infographic produced by the Healthcare Service Journal, here.

The legislation brings several changes, including formalising integrated care systems (ICSs), the latest iterations of ongoing efforts to improve partnership working in health and social care. The legislation also aims to reduce competition, encourage collaboration, and reduce bureaucracy. 

Currently the white paper is being scrutinised by the UK Parliament’s Health and Social Care Committee. A number of organisations, including the King’s Fund, have submitted their views to this inquiry. Many commentators have expressed skepticism that the current proposals will not restore accountability, transparency or collaboration to health and social care. Health Policy Insight, where the white paper was first shared, also outline that there is still limited detail on key areas such as workforce, data sharing, and social care reform. 

We have collated a range of responses including from the NHS Confederation, Nuffield Trust, the Health Foundation, the Institute for Government and Professor Allyson Pollock.

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COVID-19

Following the High Court decision that the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care acted unlawfully in relation to PPE procurement contracts we have compiled a few resources on this topic. These include: the High Court judgement; an helpful explainer by The Transparency Project of what this means; the National Audit Office’s investigation into government procurement during the pandemic; and a similar report by the Public Accounts Committee.

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Digital Health

This month saw rumours that NHSX, the NHS digital transformation arm, will be incorporated into NHS England. Despite this, NHSX had several major announcements, including a new AI tool to diagnosis chronic kidney disease, as well as publication of the Digital Technology Assessment Criteria to help improve digital health standards.

In this month’s bulletin we’re also including this report looking at digital service change in general practice. 

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Workforce

Recruitment and retention of the workforce will be a key part of the NHS recovery strategy and in this month’s update we are including several pieces of work. 

This report by the Institute of Fiscal Studies looks at how cost-of-living is affecting nursing recruitment, whilst the Health Foundation has submitted evidence on the wider workforce to the Health and Social Care Select Committee. 

NHS Providers have produced a briefing looking at how NHS pension arrangements might affect recruitment and retention of senior leaders. Finally, this week the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health published their long-term vision for child health and the paediatric workforce.

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Global health

WHO/Europe and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies have published a policy brief calling on decision-makers to take urgent, co-ordinated action to address the challenges of long COVID.

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February 2021

NHS Reform
COVID-19
Digital Health
Workforce
Global Health

About HLA:THINK

HLA:THINK is the latest offering from HLA, building on the central pillars of the Healthcare Leadership Academy. Nurturing Leadership, Fostering Frontline Innovation, and Empowering and Valuing the next generation of clinical leaders.

Through a number of discrete programmes, HLA:THINK aims to empower healthcare professionals to shape healthcare at local, organisational and national level. Our team is led by individuals with policy experience at national and international organisations.

We will be announcing more in the Spring 2021.