Intended for healthcare professionals

Observations Health Policy

Leaked government white paper ends England’s NHS internal market and returns power to health secretary

BMJ 2021; 372 doi: (Published 09 February 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;372:n384

Linked News

Government to reverse Lansley reforms in major NHS shake up

  1. Andy Cowper, editor, Health Policy Insight
  1. London, UK
  1. andycowper{at}

The government’s health and care white paper, which forms its legislative plans for the NHS in England, was revealed on 5 February 2021 by the Health Policy Insight website.12

Doctors’ attitudes to NHS politics and policy making vary widely, as does their interest in them. Quite a few doctors choose to ignore the politics of the system and to deliver their best care in the system as it is. And for doctors in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland the government proposals will not make any difference because the NHS in those nations is organised differently.

For doctors in England, however, the proposed legislation is relevant because it contains significant changes to the current system. It is also different because many, although not all, of these changes were requested by the English NHS’s leadership.

There are two main changes in the proposed new legislation. One is to reverse almost every aspect of the Health and Social Care Act 2012. The …

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