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Treasury secretary calls for local control of NHS finances

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Labour’s chief secretary to the Treasury Liam Byrne has called for a ‘radical decentralisation of power’ to cut NHS costs.

Liam Byrne said local agencies should have more control over their money, while local government should look for innovation to cut spending.

He added: “It’s not all doom and gloom for public services,” as he described his vision for services at the centre of communities.

The Hodge Hill MP was at a fringe event run by the Social Market Foundation and Institute for Local Government, during the Labour Party’s Brighton conference.

He said setting out a “handful of rights” relating to public services would ensure fair access to services nationwide.

These would include some national rights, for example on the length of time people could wait to see a cancer specialist, and some others determined at a local level.

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