Tag Archives: Coalition

Doctors hurry to join NHS gold rush

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The NHS will undergo one of the most radical shake-ups in its history this week, devised to give GPs new powers on the front line and liberate the NHS from political control.

Under the controversial 2012 Health and Social Care Bill, clinical commissioning groups will control a £65bn annual budget — more than two-thirds of the total NHS budget.

The new bodies will be responsible for designing and commissioning local health services, including mental health services, emergency care and hospital care.

The reforms are intended to open up the NHS market to greater competition by making it possible for companies, charities and other health providers to bid for work.

Every GP practice in England is affiliated to one of the 211 commissioning groups, whose boards are made up of GPs, at least one nurse, a hospital doctor and two or more lay members.

I worked on this investigation at the Sunday Times which revealed a number of board members on the new commissioning boards to already be benefitting from the changes – in one case, a clinical commissioning group has awarded a £150,000 deal to a company created by its chairman.

It was the front page ‘splash’ on Sunday – the day before the clinical commissioning groups went live.

Full text can be found here on the website, or after the fold.

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Which of the Cabinet have just handed themselves a tax break?

During his response to the Budget today, Ed Miliband challenged members of the cabinet who will benefit from the lowering of the top rate of income tax from 50p to 45p to raise their hands.

No-one did. So I did a bit of sleuthing, using the register of MPs’ financial interests and the register of ministers’ interests to see which ministers are likely candidates.

The full blog post, with table of calculations, can be found on the Telegraph website here, while the text of the resulting newspaper article is online here or after the fold.

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