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Government currently pursuing bill to give devolution a legal framework


19 August 2015

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Government is currently taking a Bill through parliament to provide a legal framework for devolution, the King’s Fund has revealed.

In a round-up of the first 100 days of the new Conservative government, the think-tank mentioned the government's five key areas in terms of health, of which devolution was one.

Government is currently taking a Bill through parliament to provide a legal framework for devolution, the King’s Fund has revealed.

In a round-up of the first 100 days of the new Conservative government, the think-tank mentioned the government's five key areas in terms of health, of which devolution was one.

Their round-up stated that “devolution of responsibility and budgets to local areas has emerged as one of the new government’s defining policy agendas,” following the Devo-Manc initiative in Greater Manchester.

“In the July Budget, the Chancellor indicated that steps are already being taken to agree a number of other devolution deals. The government is also currently taking a Bill through parliament to provide a legal framework for devolution,” it read.

Devolution has been met with “cautious optimism” and promises benefits including the opportunity to integrate commissioning and provision of health services, and services across health and social care, the release stated.

However, the King’s Fund said “significant questions” remain about the implications of devolution for the NHS given its national characteristics and tensions between central control and local decision-making

It also mentioned financial control as a government priority, as “pressure is increasing on the NHS to identify efficiency savings to deliver the £22 billion in productivity improvements” and that Lord Carter’s review on hospital savings identified only £5 billion in savings “underlining the scale of the productivity challenge facing the NHS”.

In terms of quality and safety, “perhaps the most high-profile change has been the transfer of work on safe staffing levels from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to NHS England, raising questions about the priority now attached to this work,” it said.

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