DoH brushes off NHS reform critics

Health secretary Andrew Lansley has dismissed the concerns of a damning House of Commons health select committee report on the NHS reforms.

Andrew Lansley: reforms were 'essential' to save the NHS money in the long term
Andrew Lansley: reforms were 'essential' to save the NHS money in the long term

In its commissioning report the committee concluded that the 'surprise' decision to abolish PCTs had already led to poor decision making and additional costs across the NHS.

Committee member, GP and Devon Conservative MP Dr Sarah Wollaston described the announcement of the abolition as 'like tossing a grenade' into the NHS. But in a response presented to parliament, Mr Lansley said the reforms were 'essential' to save the NHS money in the long term and were a 'logical consequence' of both coalition parties' manifestos merging.

He also claimed 'the majority of consultation respondents supported the vision and principles of White Paper Liberating the NHS', despite mounting criticism of the plans.

In response to fears the reforms are being rushed, Mr Lansley said there will be a phased transition over four years 'allowing enthusiasts to go early, as well as giving time to plan, to test, and to learn'.

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