Where next for the NHS reforms? The case for integrated care

A King’s Fund paper setting out the challenges facing the NHS.

This paper sets out the challenges facing the English NHS now and in the future and identifies the reforms the King’s Fund believes are needed to meet these challenges. It has been written as a contribution to the listening exercise initiated by the Coalition Government following the announcement at the beginning of April of a pause in the parliamentary passage of the Health and Social Care Bill.

The main argument of the paper is that reforms to the NHS must be clearly focused on, and proportionate to, the challenges it faces. The King’s Fund is in no doubt that in some areas there is scope to improve performance and to move closer to the standards of care achieved in other countries, but suggests that a clear diagnosis of the state of the NHS today is needed to inform the design of future reforms.

The paper offers suggestions for revisions to the current Bill and future policy development as well as setting out a more radical model that the authors believe holds the prospect of greater progress towards the vision of integrated care and a health system sustainable in the longer term.

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