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Devolution of health budget to councils could see NHS spending eroded, expert warns

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h5472 (Published 13 October 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h5472
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

Devolution of healthcare spending to local authorities could be a Trojan horse that would see the NHS budget eroded, a former permanent secretary at the Department of Health for England has warned.

Hugh Taylor, who now chairs the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London, told a seminar at the think tank the King’s Fund that although he was an enthusiast for the devolution of powers exemplified by “devo Manc” (the new health and social care model being assembled in Greater Manchester1) he saw dangers.

He was sceptical that merging health and social care budgets and entrusting them to local authorities would work. How would the big decisions …

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