Page last updated at 21:04 GMT, Wednesday, 19 May 2010 22:04 UK

London A&E closures 'will be scrapped' by Lansley

Savings document
A savings proposal has been leaked to BBC London

The government will tell NHS London to scrap a cost-cutting scheme that meant closing Accident and Emergency wards, BBC London has learned.

The plans took some three years to compile and were meant to save £5bn a year by 2016.

But new Health Secretary Andrew Lansley will order NHS London back to the drawing board, the BBC understands.

An NHS London spokesman said it would continue to focus on improving healthcare for Londoners.

One document prepared for health bosses by a private US firm, due for publication on Thursday but leaked to BBC London, suggested:

  • Cutting 6,000 beds
  • Losing 1,200 nurses and 600 GPs
  • Making 6,000 administration staff redundant

A central plank of the overall strategy was to close some A&E wards and replace them with 100 GP "super-clinics".

Among the departments threatened under the original plans were Kingston Hospital in south London and the Whittington Hospital in Archway, north London.

The idea was to offer people a range of treatments nearer to their homes while saving money.

But, during the election campaign, Mr Lansley said he would scrap the plans "within days" of taking power.

'Privately furious'

The politician met the head of NHS London on Wednesday and the plans will now be shelved, BBC London political correspondent Karl Mercer said.

Mr Lansley told BBC London: "As promised, I am calling a halt to NHS London's reconfiguration of services.

"A one-size-fits-all approach will be replaced with devolution of responsibility to clinicians and the public."

BBC correspondent Mercer said NHS London staff were "privately furious" about the move.

An NHS London spokesman said: "NHS London remains committed to improving the quality of care for Londoners.

"The new Secretary of State is clear GPs must now take the lead in directing where services are provided locally."



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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
Nursing In Practice Lansley halts polyclinic scheme - 12 hrs ago
Islington Gazette New health secretary gives Whittington Hospital hope - 21 hrs ago
E-Health Insider Primary Care NHS London reconfiguration to be axed - 22 hrs ago
Richmond and Twickenham Times Hospital's future 'is safe' - 22 hrs ago
Haringey Independent Whittington: Hospital services reshuffle to be shelved - 25 hrs ago

FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
Nursing In Practice Lansley halts polyclinic scheme - 12 hrs ago
Islington Gazette New health secretary gives Whittington Hospital hope - 21 hrs ago
E-Health Insider Primary Care NHS London reconfiguration to be axed - 22 hrs ago
Richmond and Twickenham Times Hospital's future 'is safe' - 22 hrs ago
Haringey Independent Whittington: Hospital services reshuffle to be shelved - 25 hrs ago


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