Mr Lansley was also recently accused of having ‘no guts’ after his office declined an invitation to address a conference hosted by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in Liverpool. Rather than attend the conference he will instead hold a question and answer session with 60 nurses as part of the Governments listening exercise.
Last year Mr Lansley announced plans for radical changes to the way the National Health Service works in a white paper titled ‘Equity & Excellence: Liberating the NHS’. If fully implemented the changes will see:
- All 10 Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs) abolished
- All 152 Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) abolished
- General Practitioners (GPs) given responsibility for managing hospital, mental health & community services
- Patients given more performance related information by a new body called HealthWatch
- Patients given control of their Medical Records
- All NHS Trusts achieve Foundation Status by 2013
The abolition of Strategic Health Authorities and Primary Care Trusts will affect more than 60,000 managers and in their place hundreds of GP consortiums will be created and given the responsibility for much of the £105bn health budget. The bottom up rather than top down reorganisation has been called ‘the most radical change in NHS history’. One of the major long term aims of the restructuring is to achieve significant cost savings by removing layers of bureaucracy in the form of Strategic Health Authorities and Primary Care Trusts. It has been reported that once implemented management costs (currently standing at £1.85 Billion) would be slashed by 46% over the next four years (a saving of £850 million).
Trade Unions have been piling pressure on the Government recently in an effort to halt or reduce the scale of public sector job cuts. The Coalition Government has been on a major cost cutting exercise ever since coming to power in an effort to reduce the fiscal deficit and get the country back on an even keel.
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