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NHS ringfences £1.7bn for reorganisation


The NHS in England has ringfenced close to £1.7bn this year to pay for a planned reorganisation.

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Service boss Sir David Nicholson said the money would be used to kick-start the process of switching control of budgets from managers to GPs.

Ministers insist the shake-up, under which 152 primary care trusts and all 10 strategic health authorities will be replaced by hundreds of GP consortiums, will generate long-term savings.

In a letter to NHS trusts, Sir David said he wanted to see the first pilot consortium set up this year, before a full roll-out by April 2013.

However health expert James Gubb from think-tank Civitas said: “This is a huge change and will take a lot of money to achieve because new organisations and frameworks have to be set up, staff laid off and new people recruited.”

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley claimed the revamp would cut management costs by 46% over the next four years, with plans to trim some £850m from the £1.85bn bill by 2014.


Readers' comments (5)

  • Martyn Butcher

    Is it me or does this not amount to more cuts at workface level?
    If £1.7bn is being ring-fenced then that won't be available for actual care, that on top of the 2% increase in NHS spending (actually a cut of 3% in real-terms when you consider NHS inflation runs at 5% pa) plus the planned reduction in frontline budgets means that hard-pressed clinical services are set to be cut-back massively over the next 2-4 years.

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  • Its actually more like £3bn according to some reports when you include all the costs of redundancies, changing premises and staff training etc.
    V odd move in a time of apparent austerity extrordinaire.

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  • Martin Gray

    All this is just a re-shuffling of funds with no real savings at all. And why is it going to take 4 years to trim the management budget? Surely this is an area where considerable savings can be made very much quicker than that. If the new Government was going to keep it's promise the axes would have been out before now. Don't try and tell me no-one saw this coming!!

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  • The £1.7Bn for reorganisation is the starting point; in reality the reorganisation will cost at least twice that amount over 5 years and probably closer to £5Bn, all of which will come from front line services since it is in addition to "efficiency" savings.

    Some serious services cuts are ahead of us.

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  • So if all the managers go, and GP's manage the budgets, quality, patient involvement, and commissioning when will they see the patients, or is this government going to bring in the new 48 hour day?

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