Rachel has welcomed new proposals launched to join up health and care services and embed lessons learned from the coronavirus pandemic.

The measures set out last week in a Government white paper, will modernise the legal framework to make the health and care system fit for the future and put in place targeted improvements for the delivery of public health and social care. It will support local health and care systems to deliver higher-quality care to their communities, in a way that is less legally bureaucratic, more accountable and more joined up, by bringing together the NHS, local government and partners together to tackle the needs of their communities as a whole.

The proposals build on the NHS’ recommendations for legislative change in the Long Term Plan and come a decade on from the last major piece of health and care legislation. While the NHS has made practical adaptations within the current legal framework, this can be unnecessarily time consuming and changes are now necessary as part of the future recovery process from the pandemic.

The measures include proposals to make integrated care the default, reduce legal bureaucracy, and better support social care, public health and the NHS. The reforms will enable the health and care sector to use technology in a modern way, establishing it as a better platform to support staff and patient care, for example by improving the quality and availability of data across the health and care sector to enable systems to plan for the future care of their communities.

Rachel said:

“I wasn’t even an MP when the Health and Social Care Act was introduced in 2012, but I think the reforms being proposed by the Prime Minister are as a result of MPs like me who are constantly raising the issue of their local hospital. Just last week I had a meeting with the Prime Minister where I raised the Alex and the campaign to return services.

“It’s my hope these reforms will prevent local health bosses from making decisions about services which clearly do not have the support of local residents.

“As my constituents know, they re-elected me to return services to the Alex, and despite the pandemic, that continues to be a top priority.

“If there are other Acute Trusts across England which have two acute hospitals, both providing high-quality maternity and children’s services, and serving populations similar to the size of Worcestershire’s, then there’s clearly no reason why this can’t happen again here in our County.”