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NHS Future Forum reports to Government

Professor Steve Field, chair of the NHS Future Forum set up to listen to concerns about the Health and Social Care Bill, has presented his report to the Government.

David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Andrew Lansley set up the NHS Future Forum in April to listen to concerns about the Health and Social Care Bill and received its findings on 13 June.  


The NHS Future Forum report makes 16 recommendations to the Government:  

  • The enduring values of the NHS and the right of patients and citizens as set out in the NHS Constitution are universally supported and should be protected and promoted at all times.  
  • The NHS should be freed from day-to-day political interference but the Secretary of State for Health must remain ultimately accountable.
  • Patients and carers want to be equal partners with healthcare professionals in discussions and decisions about their health and care.
  • There must be transparency about how public money is spent and how and why decisions are made.
  • GPs, specialist doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and all other health and care professionals state there must be effective and multi-professional involvement in designing and commissioning services.
  • Managers have a critical role to play in working with and supporting clinicians and clinical leaders.
  • There should be a comprehensive system of commissioning consortia but they should only take on their full range of responsibilities when they can demonstrate they have the right skills, capacity and capability.
  • Patients want to have real choice and control over their care that extends well beyond just choice of provider.
  • Competition should be used as a tool for supporting choice, promoting integration and improving quality and must never be pursued as an end in itself.
  • Private providers should not be allowed to ‘cherry pick’ patients and the Government should not seek to increase the role of the private sector as an end in itself.
  • The duties placed on the Secretary of State for Health, the NHS Commissioning Board and commissioning consortia to reduce health inequalities need to be translated into practical action.
  • Local government and NHS staff see huge potential in health and well-being boards becoming the generators of health and social care integration.
  • Better integration of commissioning across health and social care should be the ambition for all local areas.
  • Those NHS staff who are aware of the Government’s proposed changes to the education and training of the healthcare workforce feel much more time is needed to work through the detail.
  • Improving the public’s health is everyone’s business but should be supported by independent, expert public health advice at every level of the system.
  • Clinical leaders, managers and all those who care about the success of the NHS agree that quality, safety and meeting the financial challenge must take primacy and the pace of transition should reflect this.  

Read the reports and our submission to the forum

During its ‘listening exercise’ the forum focused on:

  • choice and competition
  • public accountability and patient involvement
  • clinical advice and leadership
  • education and training. 

Read the reports on each on the Department of Health website, and our submission to the NHS Future Forum: 

The right reform for patients - a summary

The right reform for patients - our detailed submission.

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