COMMONS

Health Committee launches new inquiry

20 July 2011

In December 2010 the Committee published a report into Public Expenditure (Second Report of Session 2010–11, HC 512). The Report concluded that the October 2010 Spending Review had set a highly challenging context for the delivery of health and social care services in the period to 2014, with both sectors being asked to make significant and difficult efficiency gains.

The Committee is returning to the subject in an inquiry to be held this autumn. In its inquiry, the Committee intends to evaluate progress towards reaching the 4% year-on-year efficiency gains required of the NHS by the ‘Nicholson Challenge’, and to assess the ability of adult social care services to meet the demands made upon them. The Committee will be supported in its inquiry by a National Audit Office study of plans being made by NHS bodies to enable them to meet the Nicholson Challenge, and the results of its own survey of local authority funding of social care.

In its inquiry, the Committee will consider, amongst other issues:

• The plans being made by NHS bodies to enable them to meet the Nicholson Challenge
• Where changes are being proposed, and whether the NHS is succeeding in making efficiency gains rather than cuts
• The cost of the continuing reorganisation of NHS structures in line with the provisions of the Health and Social Care Bill
• The impact on the provision of adult social care of the 2010 spending review settlement and the removal of ring-fencing for social care grants
• The impact on NHS plans of decisions currently being made by local authorities
• The ability of local authorities to make the necessary efficiency savings
• The use of the additional £1bn funding for social care made available through the NHS budget
• Progress on making efficiencies through the integration of health and social care services.
• Progress on and implications of changing the tariff structure

The deadline for submitting written evidence is noon on Tuesday 6 September 2011.

Guidance on submitting written evidence

It assists the Committee if those submitting written evidence adhere to the following guidelines:

Each submission should:

• state clearly who the submission is from, ie whether from yourself in a personal capacity (Submission from, eg, Miss Dee Dee Lee) or sent on behalf of an organisation (eg Submission from Insert Name Ltd);
• be no more than 3,000 words in length;
• as far as possible comprise a single document attachment to the email;
• begin with a short summary in bullet point form;
• have numbered paragraphs; and
• be in Word format with as little use of colour or logos as possible (Reports are published in black and white).

The submission should be sent by e-mail to healthcommem@parliament.uk and have the ‘Name of the inquiry’ in the Subject line.

It would be helpful, for Data Protection purposes, if individuals submitting written evidence would send their contact details separately in a covering email in a block of text laid out vertically (not horizontally). See example below:

eg: Miss Dee Dee Lee
London House
London Avenue
London SO00 0OO
Tel: 0000 000 0000 / Mob: 00000 000000
deedeelee1005 @ xxxxxxx.uk

You should also be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Though there is a strong preference for emailed submissions, those without access to a computer should send a hard copy to:

Committee Assistant
Health Committee
Committee Office
House of Commons
7 Millbank
London SW1P 3JA

Please also note that:

• Committees make public much of the evidence they receive during inquiries. If you do not wish your submission to be published, you must clearly say so. If you wish to include private or confidential information in your submission to the Committee, please contact the Clerk of the Committee to discuss this.

• Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a proposed submission, in which case a hard copy of the published work should be included.

• Evidence submitted must be kept confidential until published by the Committee, unless publication by the person or organisation submitting it is specifically authorised.

• Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, by publishing it on the internet (where it will be searchable), by printing it or by making it available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure. The Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

• Select Committees are unable to investigate individual cases.

For up-to-date information on progress of the inquiry visit: http://www.parliament.uk/healthcom

Image copyright: iStock

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