The UK Department of Health and Social Care has published a white paper titled Integration and innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all. The White Paper promises to reform the way competition law is applied to health care service provides in the United Kingdom, reversing many of the changes introduced by the controversial Health and Social Care Act of 2012. In this article we set out the system in which health care is provided in England and the role of competition law within that system. We the describe the reforms now in view before gesturing towards a number of challenges that lie ahead.

By Okeoghene Odudu & Catherine Davies1

I. INTRODUCTION

In February 2021, the UK Department of Health and Social Care published a white paper titled Integration and innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all.2 The White Paper promises to reform the system of competition enforcement introduced by the Health and Social Care Act of 2012.3 This follows a request made in the 2019 The Long Term Plan by NHS England for the legislature to “Remove the counterproductive effect that general competition rules and powers can have on the integration of NHS care.”4

In this article we set out (i) the system in which health care is provided in England and (ii) the role of competition law within that system (iii) a high-level overview of current mechanism for enforcement of competition law in the sector and (iv) the reforms now in vi

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