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Department of Health to cut around 650 jobs

One of the Department of Health offices in the city. Credit: PA

The Department of Health is to cut around 650 jobs in a bid to reduce its running costs.

Jobs are expected to start being slashed in the autumn, as the department tries to reduce running costs by 30% over the next five years.

The number of non-senior staff at the department will be cut from 1,800 to 1,200-1,300 by April 2017, ITV News understands.

Three offices in London will be merged to one building at 39 Victoria Street.

Permanent Secretary, Una O'Brien, told ITV News it is "only right" the department takes its "fair share of the efficiency savings".

The Department of Health has an important role leading the health and care system in England to help people live better for longer.

It is only right that the DH should take its fair share of the efficiency savings.

Consolidating our estate on to fewer sites and reducing staff numbers will enable us to deliver efficiencies and provide the most effective service to the country.

– DoH Permanent Secretary, Una O'Brien

'Urgent action must be taken' on antibiotic resistance

The Department of Health said it is aware "urgent action" must be taken to control resistance to antibiotics or "we could face serious problems in years to come"

A spokeswoman said:

That is why the UK is working with WHO and international bodies to support global action.

The development of new antibiotics is key and we are identifying opportunities to promote this.

We have active programmes in all these areas, which together will help us stay one step ahead both nationally and internationally.

  1. Libby Wiener

Government wins vote on NHS Care Bill comfortably

In the end the Government won this vote comfortably despite the reservations of some backbenchers and Liberal Democrats. Less comfortable are likely to be the battles ahead over which departments to close in failing hospitals , or even in some which are quite successful.

Govt wins Commons vote 297 to 239 on NHS Care Bill

Labour has failed in a bid to halt plans the Opposition claimed would hand sweeping powers to ministers to close hospitals.The Government saw off an amendment which would have cut Trust Special Administration from the Care Bill, winning a Commons vote 297 to 239, majority 58.

Speaking earlier in the debate, shadow health secretary Andy Burnham compared Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to a burglar "changing the law to get his way", and warned the Government plans could see an otherwise good hospital closed because of its proximity to a failing one.

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