Mr Lansley has issued a statement saying that all local NHS organisations looking at changing services must ensure their plans meet new criteria to ensure they are not ‘driven from the top-down'.
PCTs are currently in the process of handing over community services to acute trusts as part of Labour's Transforming Community Services policy. They have also been looking to move services into the community and encourage GPs to work in polysystems and polyclinics since Lord Ara Darzi's Next Stage Review in 2008.
Any changes to services from now on must:
- have support from GP commissioners;
- be based on sound clinical evidence
- focus on improving patient outcomes;
- consider patient choice.
‘Today I am fulfilling the pledge I made before the election to put an end to the imposition of top-down reconfigurations in the NHS,' said Mr Lansley.
'We are committed to devolving power to the people, patients, GPs and councils who are best placed to determine the nature of their local NHS services.'
On Wednesday the health secretary ‘called a halt' to NHS London's controversial plans to close local hospitals and move work into polysystems.