The Health and Social Care Act 2012

Many people (myself included) would never have thought they would see the Health and Social Care Act passed given uneasy passage of the Bill through Parliament. The legislation, the largest since the inception of the NHS in 1948 underwent approximately 2 000 amendments and over 50 days of debate before it was passed, and, though some aspects of the bill are needed, many remain challenged by professional bodies, some of whom have called for its abolition, and raise concerns concerning the transition from the old to the new. Now begins the process of embedding the legislation, the Government has already indicated less central control, more devolution of power and and an increase in local accountability with strategic decision making powers that direct service provision and the allocation of budgets locally—what is not clear yet however, is how to accomplish this. Paramedics should remain aware of the changes being made, not only how this impacts them directly, but also the repercussions upon health and social services and patients overall.

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