Never Again? The story of the Health and Social Care Act 2012

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Never Again? The story of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 explains why and how the Act became law; from the legislation’s origins 20 years ago, through the development of the 2010 White Paper Liberating the NHS to the passage of the controversial Bill through both Houses of Parliament.

The book, published jointly by the Institute for Government and The King’s Fund, focuses on what Andrew Lansley, Secretary of State for Health, is trying to achieve through the NHS reforms and considers the role the Liberal Democrats played in introducing amendments to the legislation and passing the Bill.

Written by ex-Financial Times public policy editor Nicholas Timmins, the book discusses:

  • the fact that details of the NHS reforms remained  unclear before  the May 2010 election
  • how ‘the pause’ to the legislation came about
  • the appointment of Sir David Nicholson as chief executive designate of the NHS Commissioning Board
  • Andy Burnham, Shadow Health Secretary, reviving opposition to the Bill
  • how the coalition government helped the passage of the legislation through the House of Lords.

Never Again? draws some early lessons from the process of legislation and change surrounding the reforms and explains why the Secretary of State for Health believes that the NHS will ‘never again’ need to undergo such a huge structural change. It also raises the possibility that Andrew Lansley could emerge as a hero of public sector reform.

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Comments

Rob Worth

Position
Lean Consultant,
Organisation
Worth Solutions
Comment date
12 July 2012
Looks interesting. Any chance of a Kindle version?

Sarah Tucker

Position
Assistant Web Editor,
Organisation
The King's Fund
Comment date
13 July 2012
Hi Rob - we don't have a Kindle version of the book, however we are hoping to develop Kindle versions of our publications in the future.

Nick Black

Comment date
18 July 2012
I like reading a book...are you selling a hardcopy please?

Sarah Tucker

Position
Assistant Web Editor,
Organisation
The King's Fund
Comment date
19 July 2012
Hi Nick - At the moment, hard copies of the book are with the Institute for Government. However The King's Fund will be selling copies within the next couple of weeks. Will let you know when they're available.

Stephen Hickey

Comment date
19 July 2012
Nick, an excellent overview! But is there an even stronger criticism to be made? Has the enormous focus on structural change allowed politicians to side-step the far more serious challenge of how health services need to be reconfigured to deliver quality and financial sustainability? The whole Clarke/Millburn/Lansley programme, whatever its merits, remains curiously silent on this. Worse, most politicians use their political capital not to explain but to oppose configuration changes. We may or may not now have the most elegant structure imaginable, but has it all been a displacement of energy and leadership from the main challenge facing the NHS?

John Boyd

Comment date
20 July 2012
Sarah and Rob,

As this is a PDF document, it'll probably be readable as it stands on a kindle. You can also get it converted and sent to your kindle by Amazon (see amazon.co.uk/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_rel_topic?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200767360) and I guess I would go for the free option.

John

Christine Moore

Position
Social Worker,
Comment date
27 July 2012
I am visually impaired - I am experiencing difficulty reading the timeline. Also, is an audio version available please? I am gathering information to present to a joint health and social work team meeting on the changes the Act will impact for both learning disability nurses and social workers working in a local authority.

Jen Thorley

Position
Web editor,
Organisation
The King's Fund
Comment date
27 July 2012
Hi Christine,

Unfortunately we don't have an audio version of this presentation, but I can send a word document of the content to you, which you should be able to read using a screen reader.

I will send this over to you via email now.

Thanks,

Jen

Danielle Baker

Comment date
04 August 2012
Are there any updates as to when the print version will be available yet?

Mary Hoult

Position
community volunteer,
Comment date
14 August 2012
I have been front line in all this both as a patient/carer and community volunteer since prior to 1997 and would love to be able to read your book,when will it available to the wider public?I bet we the patients/carers could make a worthwhile contribution

david rapp

Comment date
16 August 2012
As a retired GP who worked on PBC and other aspects of commissioning with my PCT,I found this exposition fascinating.Over and above all the political intrigue,the fact that the basic premise behind the reforms is not addressed by its proposers and that the real problems that need to be solved are not truely explained by anyone ,let alone the myriad of conflicting issues that arise from the details,which seem to be addressed by the authorities in a piecemeal ad hoc way is astonishing.Up and down the country GPs in CCG are working frantically to make sense of the scheme,and will unfortunately get frustrated by lack of resource and the ever greater encroaching on their time,and being the brickbat of public disquiet as the reforms develop over the next few years.From his remarks Mr Timmins suggests that Mr Lansley is blinkered to any form of criticism.By not analysing correctly what has or has not been acheived by PCTs and PBCs up to now,and subsequently not being honest with the electorate as to what he hopes to accomplish,Mr Lansley deserves whatever fate brings him in the next few years

Sarah Tucker

Position
Assistant Web Editor,
Organisation
The King's Fund
Comment date
21 August 2012
Hi Danielle and Mary. The hard copy of the book will be available on 4 September. Thanks, Sarah

Andrew WALL

Position
retired CEO/academic,
Organisation
Bath HD/ B'ham University
Comment date
22 August 2012
Could you reserve me a copy of Nick Timmins' Never Again?

Jim Swain

Position
Chartered Quality Practitioner,
Organisation
Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering
Comment date
05 October 2012
I have just read, and commented on, the Draft report on the place of Quality in the new health system (by Sir David Nicholson of the National Quality Board). Both I and my colleague james Titcombe lost our daughters to the (possible/proven) misjudgement of the medico-clinical professions, yet Sir David and his NQB insist that these same professions - which in each case closed shoulders, witheld evidence, and lied - can continue to steward quality in the NHS WITHOUT THE OVERSIGHT AND ADVICE OF QUALITY PROFESSIONALS.
How can this be right?

Robin Bridgeman

Position
Member House of Lords,
Comment date
19 October 2012
Any news on the Kindle version?

Douglas

Position
30th July 2010 at 7:01 pm</a>It's worth noting also that 24 and 30 are not mvasise numbers. A 25% increase isn't all that much compared to the random change you'll get year on year it's 6 extra operations. If 3 more than usual were carried in 2009, and,
Organisation
30th July 2010 at 7:01 pm</a>It's worth noting also that 24 and 30 are not mvasise numbers. A 25% increase isn't all that much compared to the random change you'll get year on year it's 6 extra operations. If 3 more than usual were carried in 2009, and
Comment date
03 January 2013
30th July 2010 at 7:01 pmIt's worth noting also that 24 and 30 are not mvasise numbers. A 25% increase isn't all that much compared to the random change you'll get year on year it's 6 extra operations. If 3 more than usual were carried in 2009, and 3 fewer than usual in 2005, it would look like an increase even if the average rate had stayed more or less the same. Reply

Paul Johnston

Comment date
20 November 2013
This is a brilliant account of a fascinating story - well done and many thanks. It gives a very accurate insight into how policy gets made.

Ken Evans

Position
PhD Candidate,
Organisation
University of Groningen
Comment date
10 January 2015
This is a very helpful document in that it shows who is responsible for the extra £10 billion per year that British taxpayers have to pay to run the completely unnecessary "internal market".

Prof Allyson Pollock explains all in her 15 minute video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cz5dl9fhj7o

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