Today [Thursday 28 April 2022], the Health and Care Bill becomes law as the Health and Care Act 2022. Our President, Professor Dame Anne Johnson PMedSci, comments:
“Today’s Health and Care Act has long been anticipated. Over the past months, the Academy has been working hard to influence the Bill to ensure that research is recognised as essential to improving the care of patients in the NHS, rather than as an add-on. COVID-19 demonstrated how vital research is to the NHS and showed what can be achieved when it is prioritised, highlighting how research must be a core activity for the NHS.
“I am delighted to see that our efforts can be seen in the new Act, as now leaders within the NHS are required to ‘actively facilitate’ or otherwise promote research. Integrated Care Boards – organisations with responsibility for NHS functions and budgets – and NHS England will now have to lay out how they plan to promote research, and report on their efforts.
“I am however disappointed that the Act does not include a mandate for the regular publication of current and future NHS staff numbers as this data would help us to plan for the future health and social care workforce, something that the biomedical research community will continue to call for.”