Healthcare policies and legislation affecting England

The Government’s Health and Social Care Bill received Royal Assent in March 2015. It incorporates much of the legislation needed to enact the changes as set out in the NHS White Paper: Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS and the corresponding consultations.

The white paper aims to shift decision making as close as possible to patients and bring together the management of care and resources.


NHS England Five Year Forward View

The Five Year Forward View, published in October 2014, sets out a clear direction for the NHS in England, outlining why change is needed and what it will look like. Delivering the vision contained within the report will require the input of a broad range of professions, service users, and others.

The Royal College of Occupational Therapists is working with NHS England and encourages members to work to develop this vision, which sets out new priorities and models of care to meet the future health and social care needs of the population.

How can you get involved?

NHS England is seeking innovators to help drive forward the new models of care proposed within the report. The College would be interested to hear from all members who are involved in any of these initiatives.  Please contact karin.bishop@rcot.co.uk if you are part of a vanguard site.

The Royal College of Occupational Therapists will continue to work with NHS England to ensure that occupational therapy helps to shape and deliver the models of care as laid out within the Five Year Forward View.

An Information Revolution

The NHS White Paper ‘Liberating the NHS: An Information Revolution’, sets out the Government’s vision for the modernisation of information management, in order to meet the aspirations outlined within ‘Equity and Excellence - Liberating the NHS’

It is consulting on changes proposed within Health services and adult Social Care services in England. The Paper outlines the need to utilise technology to facilitate greater service user control and choice, to increase comparability of services and to gather information on population need. Key elements of the paper include:

  • direct access to health and care records for patients to enable greater control and understanding of their care, enabling them to share the information with others as they see fit
  • greater use of technology to support self-care/ care closer to home, with service users accessing treatment as well as information digitally
  • developing the use of technology in recording outcomes (including Patient Reported Outcome Measures) and developing quality accounts, making these available as a comparator of services to enable informed choice by service users
  • standardisation of record keeping and terminology for the recording of care
  • potential use of datasets for use by local services, commissioners, researchers and universities.

View the original consultation: www.gov.uk/government/publications/an-information-revolution-summary-of-responses-to-the-consultation

Download the College's response to An Information Revolution

Greater Choice & Control

Greater Choice and Control is the latest in a number of consultations stemming from the Health White Paper

The proposals envisage a presumption of greater choice and control over care and treatment, choice of any willing healthcare provider, wherever relevant and choice of treatment and healthcare provider becoming the reality in the vast majority of NHS-funded services by no later than 2013/14. The proposals explore what extending choice could mean and how it could work in practice, using case studies to show what choice could look like. It also asks for views on whether the proposed choices are the ones that people would want.
The consultation proposes that choice and shared decision-making ought to be the rule not the exception and should be built into health professionals' everyday practice and asks how the choices that people make should be safe and sustainable. Finally, it asks what information, support and infrastructure needs to be in place to achieve the vision of informed, empowered patients making choices over the things that matter to them.
View the original consultation: www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-public-health-white-paper-2010

Download the College's response to Greater Choice and Control


The Care Act England

The Care Act came into effect in April 2015 creating a single modern piece of law for adult care and support in England. It updates complex and outdated legislation that has remained unchanged since 1948 including repealing the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970.

Care Act 2014: Guidance for occupational therapists

"I am delighted to welcome the Royal College of Occupational Therapists' series of guidance on the Care Act 2014. Endorsed by the Association of Directors for Adult Social Services (ADASS) the guides have been produced to support this significant piece of legislation which seeks to put prevention, support and personalisation at the heart of social care services.

"As occupational therapists, our holistic approach embraces the relationship between occupation, health and wellbeing; enabling and empowering people to live their life to the fullest. It is this positive and solution-focused approach that makes occupational therapists fundamental to the successful implementation of the key principles of wellbeing and prevention which are intrinsic within the Act.

"It is essential that as the health and care sector evolves, that occupational therapists, along with other members of the multidisciplinary team, continue to raise their profile to commissioners and to organisational leaders about the added value that they bring to people and their local communities.

I hope that these publications will assist you in doing so."

Alison Raw
Professional Adviser for Allied Health Professions
Department of Health

Useful resources