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NHS shake-up comes into force

The biggest shake up of the NHS since its formation comes into effect today. The aim is to make the NHS more accountable to patients and to release frontline staff from bureaucracy but critics warn the service is not ready for the major shake-up.

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Labour: Health handover 'may be car crash'

Labour has warned that transferring responsibility for tackling problems such as obesity and alcohol from the NHS to local councils - as part of an overhaul of the NHS - could be a "car crash".

In principle I support the handover of public health to local authorities. But in practice, because the Government has been so preoccupied with the wider NHS re-organisation, this handover could be a car crash.

The Government only announced the public health financial allocations a few weeks ago. This was far too late and has made it impossible for local authorities to plan properly.

The distribution has been blatantly unfair. The amounts per head of population will vary wildly, from £22 per head in Windsor and Maidenhead to £132 in Westminster. There is also no weighting towards the public health needs of children and young people, whose frontline services are already being cut in some areas.

It is wrong that this Government is unleashing this careless postcode lottery.

– Shadow public health minister Diane Abbott

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