Andrew Lansley: "I can't rule out A&E closures"
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has refused to rule out the closure of accident and emergency (A&E) departments in London.
Mr Lansley has told NHS London bosses to scrap their previous plans to close A&E wards, which took three years to compile.
But he said: "I can't rule out change and I can't rule out A&E closures."
NHS London Chief Executive Ruth Carnall said the Mr Lansley had "set us a huge challenge".
"It's a huge change programme that is expected of us," she said.
The original NHS London plans that have been rejected by the new government were meant to save £5bn a year by 2016.
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 Mr Lansley said: "We are going to stop the forced closure of A&E departments."
The new health secretary said he wanted London GPs and patients to have more say in what happens in the NHS.
"I am saying to the clinical community in London, to the GP community in London and to the patients and the public, yes, look at all this work that's been done, pick out the good things," he said.
"I'm going to challenge the GP, local authority and patient communities to put together their own timetable for developing local services."