Peer publishes bill to reinstate legal duty of health secretary to provide NHS

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 29 January 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f605
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1BMJ

The independent peer David Owen is introducing a bill in the House of Lords to reinstate the secretary of state for health’s legal duty to provide and secure the NHS in England, which he says was abolished by the Health and Social Care Act last year.

A legal duty for the health secretary to ensure that health services were provided throughout the country has been in place since the NHS was established in 1948 and is the key underpinning of a health service that is free at the point of use, comprehensive, and democratically accountable, says a data briefing to support the bill.

But this changed under last year’s act and means that a range of bodies that were not accountable …

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