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Update July 2021

Welcome to this month’s 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

Health and Care Bill

The Government set out its proposed Health and Care Bill, outlining its proposed changes to the NHS in England (healthcare is a devolved issue), replacing the 2012 Health and Social Care Act. Explanatory notes, amendments and a parliamentary briefing paper can be found here. The Department of Health and Social Care has also produced a memorandum as part of the process of legislative scrutiny. The Bill builds on the white paper that was published earlier in the year. There has been an extensive response to the Bill, across the system. Here we have collated pieces by NHS Confederation (providing views from an Integrated Care System perspective) the King’s Fund, the Health Foundation, the Nuffield Trust. Whilst many stakeholders have welcomed the removal of the enforcement of competition in healthcare (you can find the current guidance on this here ), the Shadow Health Secretary has expressed concerns regarding the potential for reduced oversight. There also remain concerns regarding the increased powers granted to the Secretary of State whilst other commentators have criticised the lack of progress on workforce planning. You can find a detailed response, which synthesises the feedback of many stakeholders, on the NHS Confederation website, and a briefing produced by the King’s Fund.

At time of writing the Bill has had its second reading and will move to committee stage. You can find an explainer on the process here.

NHS Leadership

Following Matt Hancock’s resignation, Sajid Javid was appointed Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. This blog by the Health Foundation outlines some of the challenges the new Secretary of State faces.

There are also changes to the leadership team at NHS England, with Simon Stevens leaving as CEO (a response from the King’s Fund can be found here), and Emily Lawson leaving as CCO. There has been much speculation as to who will be the new CEO of NHS England, the challenges they will face in the role, and the skills they will require.


In this month’s bulletin we include a paper looking at the impact of implementing the 7-day services standards. We also include analysis produced by the Health Foundation on NHS staff pay, a BMA report on medical workforce (along with a response from NHS Providers), as well as the announcement that HEE is being asked to update its workforce planning strategic framework. Workforce also features heavily in the DHSC outcome delivery plan.

Healthcare Finance

Alongside the new Health Bill, there have been a number of proposals on how to improve funding arrangements in the NHS. In this bulletin we include a report by York University’s Centre of Health Economics which explores a form of pay-for performance. We also include a Health Foundation briefing on how payment systems can improve post-pandemic healthcare, as well as a Nuffield Trust piece on the potential impact of the UK joining the CPTPP.

System recovery

The UK Government has responded to two consultations: on mandatory vaccinations for care home employees, and on reforming the Mental Health Act. In this bulletin we also include two other outputs being considered by the healthcare service: how to achieve better shared decision making (produced by the Patients Association), and a blueprint for better integrated care (produced by National Voices).

Produced by Arrash Yassaee



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