MPs vote in favour of controversial health bill
3 February 2011 00:00 in Medical Government/ NHS related news
The government's controversial health and social care bill passed its first hurdle in the House of Commons this week, as MPs voted by 321 to 235 in support of the legislation.
Under the plans, control of around 80 per cent of England's health service budget will be handed to GPs, who will take over responsibility for commissioning services.
Primary care trusts and strategic health authorities will be scrapped and spending decisions will be overseen by a new body, the NHS Commissioning Board.
Health secretary Andrew Lansley said the reforms would give patients more choice and that the core values of the NHS would remain unchanged.
"At every step, clinical leadership ... will be right at the forefront - an NHS organised from the bottom up, not from the top down," he told MPs.
The bill's second reading in the House of Commons came as a new poll by the Royal College of General Practitioners highlighted concerns over the reforms.
Its online survey revealed that while many are keen to support GP-led commissioning, more than 70 percent do not believe the use of private companies will create a more patient-led NHS or improve outcomes.
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