Derek spoke in Parliament in support of the Health and Care bill, which builds on the NHS’s own proposals for reform to make it more accountable and more integrated as we build back better after the pandemic. He praised local NHS and social care managers who have been asking for help to formally integrate their services.
COVID-19 has reinforced the need for closer collaboration between the NHS, local authorities and care providers to provide more joined up working, and staff and patients have rapidly adopted new technologies to deliver better care. But at times in recent years the legal framework has made this more difficult, as it was not designed with this type of collaboration in mind.
Derek has taken a close interest in diabetes, where this lack of collaboration is acute:
“Across the UK we have pretty much all the tools, treatment, care, support and devices so that someone with diabetes can manage their condition and live, as much as possible, a full and good life. Because of the current situation, that care is not joined up and is not universal across the country. The Bill delivers a joined-up, clear pathway from diagnosis through their lifetime and enables them to get every bit of support and care and every device they need to live full lives, to manage their care and to take an active part in society as a whole.”
The Bill will ensure each part of England has an Integrated Care Board and an Integrated Care Partnership responsible for bringing together local NHS and local government, such as social care, mental health services and public health advice, to deliver joined up care for its local population. Clinicians, carers and public health experts will be empowered to operate collaboratively across health and care, as part of plans to tackle inequalities and level up health across the country. The Bill will also introduce measures to tackle obesity and improve oral health.
“I pay tribute to my NHS managers and social care managers in Cornwall. They have been straining at the bit for a long time to integrate more effectively and more successfully, and the Bill will help them to formalise that integration and do a good job of it.”