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Local people to be elected to run primary care trusts, says new government

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c2736 (Published 21 May 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2736
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

    Direct elections to the boards of primary care trusts have been promised by the UK government in the first detailed plans issued by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition.

    Electing members to run local health services was a central plank in the Lib Dem election manifesto. But the document also confirms Conservative plans to liberate the National Health Service from political control by setting up an NHS board. So the NHS could find itself exchanging control by national politicians for control by local politicians.

    If the plans are enacted, primary care trusts will be run by directly elected members (number unspecified), and by members appointed by local authorities, with the chief executive appointed by the secretary of state on the advice of the NHS board. No mention is made of the NHS Appointments Commission, set up by the Labour government, or how board chairs will …

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