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Reaction: New phase of the ‘listening exercise’ on NHS reforms

What experts make of the Government's new phase in the 'listening exercise'.

Dr Anna Dixon, director of policy at The King's Fund:

‘We welcome the announcement that the Future Forum will continue to lead a process of engagement on these areas of policy. It was clear that further thinking and consultation were needed on a number of areas of the government reforms including workforce and education reforms and the implications of the changes to public health for the NHS.

‘We are also encouraged that having given greater priority to integration in the Health and Social Care Bill following the listening exercise, the government have asked the Future Forum to do further work in this area. The King's Fund will be working with the Nuffield Trust to develop a strategy to promote integrated care and to find ways to make integrated care a reality across England.'

Sue Slipman, chief executive of Foundation Trust Network:

‘In the NHS of the future, foundation trusts, which make up the majority of public providers in the NHS, will need the freedom to lead the reconfiguration of their services, changing and shaping them so that they deliver the best possible care. We look forward to contributing to the Future Forum's ongoing discussions.'

Mike Farrar, chief executive of NHS Confederation:

‘We have been strongly urging the Government to ensure that the end of the pause did mark the end of the listening.  The NHS will be pleased to see therefore that the Forum will play a significant role. In designing its healthcare reforms, the Government must listen with sufficient care to the views of people with the know-how to make the policies work on the ground.

‘The concerns of those who run the NHS and work on the frontline must always be a fundamental part of making this and future reforms work successfully. In return, the NHS itself needs to take more responsibility in engaging proactively with the development of policy'

Sue Sharpe, chief executive of PSNC:

‘PSNC has been disappointed that the Government's NHS reforms have not swept away all of the barriers that have held back the development of pharmacy's role. The second phase of the listening exercise is a promising opportunity to address some of these barriers.'

‘In our submission to the listening exercise, PSNC will call for the Government to make good on its commitment to develop the role of community pharmacy. We want to see a future where pharmacy is the first choice for delivering public health services, where pharmacy is able to own its share of an integrated care pathway, and where the NHS is able to celebrate, develop and reward all that is best about community pharmacy.'

George McNamara, head of public policy, British Red Cross:

‘We welcome the announcement by the government that the Future Forum will continue its work, and are particularly encouraged that integration has been recognised as a key theme for this new phase.‘

‘If health reforms are really going to improve outcomes and put the patient at the centre of the NHS, they must deliver seamless care in the community, in hospital, and, critically, at the interface between the two.'

‘Better integration can provide patients with the care they need, support their recovery and potentially save money by both enabling discharge from hospital and preventing readmission.'

‘Health and social care services can support the better integration of care for vulnerable people pre and post hospital and must be retained and expanded in the new health landscape.'