Health secretary to review the future of the NHS

Health secretary Alan Johnson has announced a review of the NHS, looking at how to meet the challenges of delivering healthcare over the next decade.

Health secretary Alan Johnson
Health secretary Alan Johnson

Surgeon Professor Ara Darzi, last week appointed as a health minister, will lead the review and there will be an interim assessment in autumn 2007 to inform the government's comprehensive spending review.

Professor Darzi's brief is to examine how the NHS can provide better access to safer, high quality care for all, whilst delivering value for money for taxpayers.

Professor Darzi's report on the reconfiguration of London's healthcare, to be published next week, is expected to conclude that there should be a network of 24-hour 'one-stop shop' health campuses, with up to 25 GPs in each.

BMA chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum welcomed the review. 'The new health secretary has made a positive start by admitting that the government has failed to sufficiently engage with patients, doctors and other NHS staff and to acknowledge the profession's poor morale and disenchantment with current health policy.'

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