The Department of Health has vigorously denied MPs’ claims that reforms in the next stage review amount to a long list of unranked priorities and “a lot of waffle”.
In a published response to a health select committee report on the review, the DH denied its proposals were rehashed and uncosted.
“While many of the review’s key themes may not be new… its recommendations are,” it said.
It cited the piloting of personalised health budgets and the duty on strategic health authorities to promote innovation.
The committee report in January praised the consultation process but questioned primary care trusts’ abilities to deliver the recommendations.
The DH responded: “The world class commissioning programme [will] transform the way in which PCTs carry out commissioning.”
The document says an evaluation of the assurance process, after PCTs were given their ratings last month, has shown nearly 90 per cent of participants agreed world class commissioning will improve commissioning capability and governance.
More than 80 per cent of respondents to a survey of PCT partners and stakeholders thought it would improve PCT performance.
The DH also denied it was repeating a “bad habit” of providing long lists of priorities without ranking them. The proposals were “designed to be mutually reinforcing and enabling”, the response says.
It says concerns that the NHS constitution was “a lot of waffle” were unfounded as every right would be legally enforceable. It said public reaction to the constitution had been “overwhelmingly positive”.