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Page last updated at 10:35 GMT, Monday, 6 February 2012

Have views on NHS reform shifted?

Last June the Today programme spoke to Dr Michael Dixon, chair of the NHS Alliance, who supports the government's proposed reforms of the NHS and Dr John Lister, director of the Health Emergency campaign group, who opposes them.

Eight months on, and as the bill reaches the report stage in the House of Lords, have their opinions changed?

Dr Michael Dixon still believes the reforms "will work". We are seeing commissioning groups throughout the country already delivering better care, he says. This is "real reform", he adds, as it is putting front line doctors and nurses in the "driving seat".

Dr John Lister disagrees and says it is an "illusion" that GPs and nurses will be given more power.

Local commissioning groups are getting bigger and less local, he believes, with GPs not taking the day-to-day decisions. The system will be just as bureaucratic as the one in place at the moment, he adds.


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