Magazine article Public Finance

SHA Reforms Throw NHS 'Into Greater Turmoil', Argue Critics

Magazine article Public Finance

SHA Reforms Throw NHS 'Into Greater Turmoil', Argue Critics

Article excerpt

Critics have described the government s reorganisation of English strategic health authorities as 'the right policy at the wrong time'.

The reorganisation brings the number of SHAs down from 28 to ten with effect from July 1. The move stems from last summer's 'Commissioning a patient-led NHS' consultation, which Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt later admitted had been 'mishandled'.

The merger of SHAs is intended to reduce costs while strengthening oversight of primary care trusts and hospitals.

Announcing the final plans on April 12, Hewitt said: 'These improvements to the local NHS will mean more money for frontline services and better care for patients.'

However, King's Fund chief executive Niall Dickson likened the redrawing of boundaries to a nineteenth-century imperial power'. …

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