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REC comments on changes to the Health and Social Care Bill

REC comments on changes to the Health and Social Care Bill.
The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) today responded to changes in the Health and Social Care Bill highlighting that flexible staffing arrangements will play a crucial role in managing the reform process. 
The amendments to the original Bill, which received widespread criticism from medical staff and patients groups, takes on board many of the recommendations of the independent NHS Future Forum. 
These include
Reinstating the Health Secretarys legal responsibility for the NHS. 
The 2013 deadline for the new GP commissioning arrangements to be relaxed
The power of health and well-being boards, which are being set up by councils, to be beefed up and patients given a greater role on them
GPs still taking the lead in making decisions, but other professionals such as hospital doctors and nurses to be included in the process. 
The focus on competition to be "significantly diluted", with the regulator, Monitor, focusing on improving patient choice instead
Commenting, Ed McRandal, the RECs Healthcare Advisor, said: 
The NHS faces significant challenges in the years ahead, responding to an ageing population and increasing treatment costs.  It is important that any amendments to the Health and Social Care bill clearly set out a vision for the NHS which is achievable given the Governments aim of finding 20 billion of efficiency savings.
Managing reform whilst cutting spending will no doubt place extra pressure on the NHS workforce and it is important that patient care does not suffer as a result.   The best way of avoiding this is to have robust systems in place to ensure that the right staff are placed in the right place at the right time.  The public sector should replicate the approach of the private sector and embrace the use of flexible and temporary staff - qualified professionals who are employed as and when their skills are required.
Recruitment agencies provide an invaluable service to the NHS it is important that their role in sourcing, vetting and placing highly trained staff is recognised as a crucial aspect in maintaining the highest standards of patient care.


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