Doctors raise costs alert as NHS appears unchanged

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SERIOUS concerns about the Government’s plans to reorganise the NHS have been raised by the British Medical Association, after it emerged millions of pounds was being set aside by Yorkshire primary care trusts (PCTs) to fund the changes.

The coalition has told PCTs to set aside two per cent of their budgets over two financial years to pay for “non-recurrent costs of system change”.

The move, which will cost trusts in Yorkshire more than £300m, has been attacked by Labour as a waste of vital funds at a time when they are needed on the front line.

Leeds GP Richard Vautrey, deputy chairman of the British Medical Association’s GP committee, warned that money was being spent “destroying a structure only to replace it with something similar”.

“The BMA is deeply concerned about the amount that has been spent on this latest in a long line of NHS re-organisations,” he said.

“We said from the outset that involving more clinicians in leading and shaping services was a good thing but could have been achieved far more cost-effectively by building on the current structures instead of destroying them only to re-create something that looks very similar.

“Each big change not only costs the taxpayer huge amounts of money, but also typically leads to two years when the NHS spends too much time looking inwards when it should be focusing outwards to improve the services to patients.”

The savings, which nationally total more than £3.5bn, will be used to cover various cost cutting projects, not just reorganisation. Government estimates put the cost of the shake-up, which includes giving GPs control of health service budgets, at about £1.3bn but academics have predicted the final bill will be double that.

Shadow Health Secretary

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