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No legislative changes for ACOs, confirmed Jeremy Hunt

No legislative changes for ACOs, confirmed Jeremy Hunt

'No prospect for legislation', said Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt
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Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that there is no ‘prospect for legislation’ for what concerns Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).

Speaking at the King’s Fund Annual Conference in London, Mr Hunt said: ‘I think that most of the people will be relieved to hear that there is no prospect for legislation in terms of structure.’

He justified the Government’s decision to wait before coming up with a new structural model because ‘nowhere in the world you can find a perfected accountable care model’.

He said: ‘We probably don’t know precisely what we want the right legislative structures to be.’

Mr Hunt welcomed discussion among foundation trust chief executives that want to ‘integrate that care better’ and ‘know that our current model is not sustainable’.

In August, NHS England published the first contract for ‘accountable care organisations’ (ACOs), clearly defining what an ACO is and its responsibilities.

During its introductory speech, Mr Hunt stressed on three points, which are a focus on spreading best practice, long-term workforce planning and the necessity to ‘bring artificial intelligence into the safety agenda’.

He also confirmed the Government’s intention to publish a draft workforce plan by the end of this year.

‘If we don’t deal with workforce pressures, these will start to have an impact on the quality of care.

‘We need a workforce plan that looks for at least a decade, potentially further, that looks at the changes in medicine and those in technology’ in order to understand what kind of person is more suitable to be a doctor, a nurse, or a midwife in 2027.

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