Lansley emphases Act’s freedom

 Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has written to Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) emphasising the freedom the Health and Social Care Act will give them.

In one of four separate letters sent to key health and care organisations and their staff, he outlined how the Act will increase the powers of CCGs and hopes these new opportunities will be fulfilled.

Mr Lansley said the “Act represents an important step” and hopes CCGs “takes maximum advantage of your new powers and freedoms”.

The letter outlined how the new structure of the NHS will be in place within a year’s time and how patients and staff will quickly “see the improvements the new system will bring”.

He insisted that the reforms have two simple principles to offer patients more control over the care they receive and to provide “freedom and powers” to those now responsible for patient care.

The Health Secretary said in the letter it was his “ambition” to achieve a clinically-led NHS.

Mr Lansley then discussed the freedoms to “to use the NHS budget in the best interests of your patients”, to “structure” CCGs to suit and to “pursue innovative ways of delivering care”.

When CCGs become statutory budget holders from April 1 2013, the Health Secretary highlighted the freedom commissioners will have “to prioritise resources in ways that best suit the needs of your population” and then “reinvest all efficiency savings you make directly back into frontline patient care”.

He added that he was aware that “many of you are eager to take advantage of your new powers and responsibilities as soon as possible” and that the NHS Commissioning Board is working to ensure “CCGs feel ready and willing to take up their full responsibilities”.

Mr Lansley also penned similar letters to NHS foundation trusts, NHS trusts and local authorities.