Prime Minister Boris Johnson may be planning to reduce the role of private healthcare in NHS England, Yahoo! Finance has reported, after studying leaked documents on the Health Policy Insight website.

In 2012 the Coalition government led by David Cameron passed the Health and Social Care Act which introduced clinical commissioning groups to control local healthcare provisions and moved some power away from the health secretary to NHS England, and provided more of a role for private healthcare companies.

The leaked documents indicate that according to a government White Paper the private and voluntary sectors will continue to perform an “important role” but with less influence.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “The NHS set out the need for new legislation to support the changing health and care sector in the NHS Long Term Plan, and last summer the health and social care secretary outlined how we must apply the lessons of this pandemic as we continue to deliver this plan.”

On BBC Radio 4’s Today programme former health secretary Jeremy Hunt said private healthcare sector firms working with the NHS need to be subject to greater scrutiny, adding: “If we are going to allow local monopolies to come back in the NHS, we need to make sure, in the details of these reforms, there’s a proper accountability mechanism.”

Date published: February 9, 2021

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