The King's Fund's response to the announcement of a two month listening exercise on the government's health reforms

Responding to the announcement of a two month listening exercise on the government's health reforms, The King's Fund's Chief Executive, Chris Ham, said:

'The real choice is not between the status quo and change, but between the right reforms, executed well, or poorly planned reforms that could undermine NHS performance. So while the coalition is right to stress the need for reform to make the NHS truly world class, the means used must be proportionate to the problems that need addressing.

'We welcome the listening exercise announced today but it must result in significant changes to the current proposals if the reforms are to succeed. These changes should be based on clearer accountability, a stronger emphasis on collaboration between services, a more inclusive and gradual approach to GP commissioning and a clearer understanding about where and how far to extend competition.

'The stakes are high. Only when ministers are satisfied that their proposals are proportionate and appropriate to the problems to be addressed, should they proceed with legislation that represents the most fundamental change to the NHS since its inception.'

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