Politicians’ role in reconfiguring hospitals should be reviewed, says King’s Fund

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 06 September 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d5669
  1. Andrew Cole
  1. 1London

The proposed reforms of the NHS in England could make reconfiguring hospital services even more bureaucratic and protracted at a time when change is urgently needed, warns a new report from the healthcare think tank the King’s Fund.

Its briefing paper suggests a number of ways in which current legislation could be altered to streamline the system. These include setting new minimum standards of care for some clinical conditions, improving the quality of engagement with the public, and speeding up the consultation and decision making process.

More radically, it says that the Independent Reconfiguration Panel for the NHS, an advisory non-departmental public body, could have the final say on decisions …

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