Health and Care Act passes but leaves unfinished business for the NHS and social care  Health Foundation respond to Health and Care Act receiving Royal Assent

29 April 2022

Responding to the Health and Care Act receiving Royal Assent, Hugh Alderwick, Director of Policy at the Health Foundation, said: 

'The passing of the Health and Care Act is the biggest legislative shake up of the NHS in a decade, but does little to address the major pressures on health and care services right now. 

'The Act’s aim of encouraging collaboration between different parts of the health system to improve local services is welcome – and goes with the grain of what the NHS and local government is already trying to do. But the potential benefits of these changes should not be overstated and the new NHS structure risks being complex and vague. 

'The Act’s has some gaping holes. Staffing shortages are an existential threat to the future of the NHS, yet government failed to use the Act to ensure that independent projections of future staffing needs are produced to support better planning. This is a mistake. And government’s amendments on social care reform make plans for a cap on care costs far less fair and generous than originally expected. Poorer people with lower wealth will be hit hardest – and some will still face crippling social care costs. 

'Standing back, the Act helps cement a shift away from competition within the NHS but will do little to tackle the major challenges facing health and care in England – including a massive backlog of unmet need, chronic workforce shortages, and growing pressures on services. Local areas will need to be given the time and resources to implement the changes and minimise potential disruption.'

Further reading


Health and Care Bill


Our analysis of the key proposals in the Health and Care Bill 2021/22.

You might also like...

Press release

Government must go further to level up the health recovery

Press release

Health Foundation response to the Queen’s Speech 2022. 

Newsletter blog

How might changing public attitudes influence government policy on health?

Newsletter blog

How will falling levels of public satisfaction with the NHS affect debate about NHS reform? Hugh...

Press release

The best road to improving our health system is to invest in the model we have

Press release

Health Foundation response to Civitas International Health Care Outcomes Index 2022.

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 copy

Get social

Nurses trained outside the UK have long played a vital role in delivering NHS services. This week's data from…

Follow us on Twitter
Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more