A group of leading doctors has defended the closure of some accident and emergency units and other hospital services, claiming they could actually improve patient care and save money in the long run.
The doctors, from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, including Royal College of GPs chair Professor Steve Field, urged the next government to be brave in decisions over the NHS and not to “defend the status quo”.
In a letter published in the Guardian, they said moving more services into primary care would improve standards and save lives.
Although patients may have to travel further for some specialist care, it would be justified if the care was significantly better, the doctors said in the letter.
They added: “Delivering this requires strong leadership and brave decision-making from doctors, managers and politicians. Simply condemning change as bad and defending the status quo as ideal is not serving the interests of patients.”