Ministers 'can and do grip NHS system when needed'

The Department of Health insists ministers "can and do grip" the NHS system when they need to.

Conservative public health minister Jane Ellison was recorded at a private meeting saying the reforms had given away control of the NHS- a claim Labour used to accuse ministers of "washing their hands of responsibility" for the health service.

A Department of Heath spokesman said:

Giving operational control for the day-to-day running of services to doctors was the right decision - but we have always been clear that ministers are responsible for the NHS, and we are proud of its performance in challenging circumstances.

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Tory minister: Govt no longer has control of NHS after reforms

A Conservative public health minister has been secretly recorded claiming the Government no longer has "day-to-day control" of the NHS following reforms under former health secretary Andrew Lansley.