Public health gets a boost in NHS streamlining

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: (Published 06 August 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:357
  1. J Smith

    The last elements of the restructuring of the National Health Service in Britain were put in place last week with the publication of details of how the NHS Executive and its regional offices are to work. The proposals seem to strengthen the role of public health, but critics say that the Department of Health's report, Managing the New NHS, remains vague on crucial issues such as medical education and junior doctors' contracts.

    The report follows last year's review of the functions of the NHS above district health authorities, which was prompted by the need to streamline central management as more responsibility was devolved to trusts and purchasing authorities. It recommended replacing the 14 English regional health authorities with eight regional offices of the NHS Executive (30 October, p 1091). When the secretary of state for health, Virginia Bottomley, accepted these recommendations last October she commissioned work to decide where the functions performed by the executive and the old regions should be done. She also set up a review of the work of the whole Department of Health. Its conclusions, together with a paper …

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