NHS restructuring plan gives power to GPs

The NHS in England is to undergo one of its biggest ever restructures, the government has announced.

Changes will include the abolition of all 10 strategic health authorities and all 152 primary care trusts, reports the BBC.

GPs will be asked to get together in groups to determine how much of the NHS budget is spent, despite concerns that not all of them will have the skills needed. Hospitals will be encouraged to move outside the NHS to create an industry of social enterprises. According to the government, the new structure will be held accountable by an independent NHS board, free from political interference.

Health secretary Andy Lansley said the proposals would turn the NHS upside down, but that he hoped they would help reduce management costs by nearly half within four years.

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham called the restructuring a “political experiment”, while Unison predicted the changes would lead to chaos.

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