Liberating the NHS: The right prescription in a cold climate?

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The stated aims of the coalition government's White Paper, Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS (Department of Health 2010) are putting patients and the public first and improving health care outcomes.

Many of the changes set out in the White Paper, such as involving GPs in commissioning and increasing the choices available to patients, have the potential to help to improve performance. However, there are significant risks in making these changes when financial pressures on the NHS are increasing. The case for reorganising the NHS needs to be clear and convincing to justify taking these risks, and this case has not been made.