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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 December 2005, 08:28 GMT
Healthcare shake-up to save 8m
Consultation begins on Wednesday on a big shake-up in the way healthcare is managed in Devon and Cornwall.

The idea is that GPs will do much more to plan services for patients, but up to seven of the peninsula's primary care trusts may also be abolished.

A preferred option is trusts for Devon, Torbay, Plymouth, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to better integrate with councils' social services.

Health bosses say such a shake-up will save up to 8m in management costs.

Ambulance merger

Savings made from streamlining management would improve patient care, they said.

Thelma Holland, from the South West Peninsula Health Authority, said: "The target for Devon and Cornwall is 8m.

"We would see that money freed up to serve patients with cancer and those who need palliative care."

Consultation is also starting on the possible merger of the Westcountry Ambulance Trust, which serves Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, with Dorset Ambulance Trust.

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