How long will the government be listening?

Posted on May 17, 2011 by

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Yesterday Cameron gave a speech about the NHS giving us some clues on progress through the ‘listening exercise” and timings. The NHS Future Forum is taking evidence until the end of May and in early June, will publish its recommended changes to the Health Bill. The government will respond later in June. So it looks like the bill will not resume debate in the Commons until late June at the earliest, meaning it is quite unlikely to make it to the Lords until the Autumn.

Interesting bits from the speech

Nice mention of the importance of science and research developing new treatments for patients and the need to fund this:

Right now scientists are working on artificial limbs that are controlled by thought alone.

Breathalyzers that can diagnose disease with one puff.

Kidneys grown in laboratories from stem cells

A world class health service demands these advances.

Our NHS and its patients should get them.

But that will only happen if we find a sustainable way to deal with the rising costs.

On the ‘listening exercise’ and the NHS Future Forum, again indicated that the government are willing to make ‘substantive changes’ but held back from discussing what these might be:

We are listening – and we will make substantive changes to improve the reforms, based on what we hear.

I do not want to pre-empt what those changes will be.

The NHS Future Forum is taking evidence until the end of May, planning to report and make recommendations to the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Health early in June. Yesterday Cameron confirmed that the government will respond to these recommendations later in June.

What next?

We’re working to make sure research is on the agenda during all this listening, feeding into the NHS Future Forum, setting up opportunities to discuss this with policy-makers etc. Summary of the key issues raised for research raised by the Health & Social Care Bill here.

Posted in: Policy