NHS changes made under the radar

Two weeks ago The Lowdown warned of plans being hatched by NHS England and local “Integrated Care Systems” (ICSs) and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to force through far-reaching changes as soon as the lockdown period and crisis measures are eased off.

Many of these have been accepted with minimal discussion as emergency measures to deal with the Covid crisis, but which would be controversial as a permanent arrangement.

They include establishing a “new normal” of predominantly ‘virtual’ primary care and outpatient services, along with remote diagnostics, new approaches to triage, workforce models, use of volunteers, remote working, “pace and urgency to decision making,” and new “financial models.”

It seems that the changes accepted as temporary measures are already being cemented in. NHS England’s plans in London make clear that to reverse away from any of these changes now requires the prior agreement of the Regional office.

Full story in The Lowdown, 26 May 2020