Andrew Lansley has thanked NHS staff for their work over the last year and said that the new Health and Social Care Act "explicitly supports the core principles of the NHS", in a letter to healthcare professionals today (29 March 2012).
He says the new act will "empower NHS clinicians to determine the type of health services needed in their local area, using their clinical expertise and their knowledge to ensure NHS services meet the needs of patients."
He also insists that the act ensures that the NHS will be judged on the results "we actually deliver for patients, rather than on processes which have no clinical justification or benefit for patients."
The health secretary's letter defines the core NHS principles as providing care free at the point of use, funded from general taxation, and based on the need, not the ability, to pay.
Lansley writes that at the heart of the act are two simple principles: that patients should share in every decision about their care and that those responsible for patient care should have the "freedom and powers to lead an NHS that delivers continually improving care".
He adds: "My ambition is for a clinically-led NHS that delivers the best possible care for patients. Politicians should not be able to tell clinicians how to do their jobs. I hope you and your colleagues in the NHS will take advantage of the new freedoms the act has put in place."
"I hope it does. It will certainly sure up accountability and ensure patients are listened to and responses will be clear truthful and reasoned even if it is not in the best interest of what the patient thinks he requires." - V. Henry, North London