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Page last updated at 07:50 GMT, Tuesday, 14 June 2011 08:50 UK

NHS 'needs radical change quite quickly'

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Ministers will seek to reinvigorate plans to change the NHS in England after an independent review recommended a major rewrite of the proposals.

In his analysis, political editor Nick Robinson said that David Cameron and Nick Clegg have realised that the government's proposals would constitute "a revolution not an evolution.

"You can call it a cave-in or you can say that they concluded their critics were right," he added.

But former health minister Lord Warner argued that the NHS "hears the signals it wants to hear" and would take away the impression that it did not need to worry too much about competition and that reform could be delayed.

New Labour health reforms were geared towards more patient choice and more competition, he said. Those principles were "in many ways" being carried through in the original NHS reforms.

"The NHS is in serious danger of running out of money unless we get on with some radical change quite quickly," he explained.

But Dr Hamish Meldrum, chairman of the BMA, said that "legitimate concerns that health professionals had were not being listened to" in the original bill. However, he denied that doctors were standing in the way of reform.

"Doctors are perfectly prepared to sit down and work with others and work out what is going to be the best way of delivering cost-effective care for the population," he said.


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