The King's Fund statement in response to the Queen's Speech

Responding to the government's continued commitment to a programme of reform for the NHS as outlined in the Queen's Speech, The King's Fund chief executive, Rabbi Julia Neuberger said

'We welcome the idea of more patient choice as long as there is equity of choice for all patients, and not just the few who can take advantage of the system.

'It is important that patient choice is extended beyond the acute sector, so that the 17 million people with chronic diseases in the UK can manage their different conditions in ways that best suit their needs.

'Some of the existing plans to reform the NHS need time to bed down. The last thing patients and health care professionals need is more upheaval at a time when the health service is struggling under the weight of too many initiatives and diktats.'

On the government's proposals to reform the UK asylum and immigration system outlined today, Rabbi Neuberger said: "We look forward to studying the proposals in more detail. We must ensure that the UK continues to provide a humane system, and that those who have a right to remain in the UK, or those whose cases are being heard, continue to receive the support they are entitled to."

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For further information, or interviews with The King's Fund staff, please contact Daniel Reynolds in the public affairs team on 020 7307 2581 or 07831 554927, or Helen Evans on 020 7307 2632 or 07774 218439.