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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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Health Minister Lord Howe defends NHS reforms

The NHS needs to change so that patients get the care they need, when they need it. From April 1 local nurses and doctors, who best know what their patients need will have the power, freedom and budget to decide what care and services are best for their local communities and how taxpayers' money is spent.

Patients will be able to choose who provides their care so everyday health checks like hearing and blood tests can be carried out at a time and place convenient for them, such as at a pharmacy on the high street instead of a hospital.

Health and care services will be better joined up by bringing together the NHS, local councils and patients. Patients will have a greater influence in changes to their local health and care services through the patient led inspections and the friends and family test.

Through these changes, the health service will improve, work smarter and, importantly, build an NHS that delivers high quality, compassionate care for patients.

– Health Minister Lord Howe

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