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Politicians must explain why services need to close, warns NHS chief

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 13 July 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4426
  1. Caroline White
  1. 1Manchester

Politicians must face up to their responsibilities and explain to the public why NHS services need to be closed or reconfigured, the chief executive of the NHS in England, David Nicholson, has warned.

Speaking at the NHS Confederation’s annual conference in Manchester last week, Sir David said that the NHS had no other option than to close or reconfigure services if it was to live within its reduced means and still improve care.

He said, “Where we have the evidence and clinical support to make service change that improves quality and reduces costs, we should expect our politicians to support us and take those arguments forward to their local communities. The alternative is real problems for the NHS as a whole.

“In all of this …

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