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Failure to spell out need for reform has led to health bill crisis, says former health secretary

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 13 May 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3010
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

The government is in crisis over its Health and Social Care Bill because it didn’t make it clear enough what the proposed changes in policy are designed to achieve, says the Conservative MP and former health secretary Stephen Dorrell.

Mr Dorrell, who is currently chairman of the House of Commons health select committee, said that protests over the closure of some units of Chase Farm Hospital in Enfield, north London, were happening because of similar misunderstandings: no explanation had been given of why the closures were needed and what the positive results and alternatives were. He was speaking on 12 May at a meeting on preparing for commissioning organised by the health policy think tank the King’s Fund and the NHS Alliance, which represents primary care staff.

Mr Dorrell went on to define the problem facing the NHS: “There …

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