Political

Paul Burstow’s hand at work in the NHS White Paper

Paul Burstow, now a health minister, has a long record of campaigning for better coordination and integration between the different services which look after people’s health.

So although the government isn’t talking publicly about which part of the health White Paper has been driven by whom, you can see Paul’s influence at work, as reported by The Guardian:

The sector has long pressed for the joining-up of health and social care – and the white paper seeks to promote this, particularly through the proposed new role for local government in respect of public health.

It also sets out an increased responsibility for NICE:

Buried in the NHS white paper is the detail that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) should “extend its remit to social care”. Does this signal the end of the institutional independence of social care?

Well, it’s looking alarmingly like the end of the Social Care Institute for Excellence (Scie). Set up in 2001 to identify and spread good practice in the sector, the body has found its stride in recent years after a shaky start. But it now faces the loss to Nice of much of its government-funded work.

Paul Burstow, care services minister, told the Guardian that Nice should set quality standards for the whole of an individual’s care experience. It made no sense for its remit to stop at the point on the care pathway at which responsibility for the individual passed from the NHS to social care.

Scie would “continue to have a role, but it won’t be the same role they played directly alongside Nice in the past”, Burstow said. “Some aspects of that role will transfer to Nice and we are in discussions with Scie about how that will be done.”

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