The King's Fund has produced this briefing ahead of the second reading of the Health Bill in the House of Commons.
The briefing examines the measures outlined in the Bill to introduce a Constitution for the NHS; pilot direct payments for patients; require providers of NHS-funded care to produce annual quality accounts; and make further provisions on tobacco control.
Our analysis is based on a number of reports and responses to major government consultations that we have published recently:
- Governing the NHS: Alternatives to an independent board (Dixon and Alvarez-Rosete 2008) recommended the creation of an NHS Constitution.
- Should Primary Care Trusts be Made More Locally Accountable? (Thorlby et al 2008) discusses options for making PCTs more accountable to their local communities.
- Commissioning and Behaviour Change: Kicking Bad Habits final report (Boyce et al 2008) investigated what methods are effective in supporting people to choose healthier lifestyles, including quitting smoking.