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NHS faces 'peril' if plans derail

Senior doctors have warned the NHS will be in "peril" if Government health reforms are derailed.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has faced repeated opposition to his ambitious plans to undertake the largest shake-up of the service in its history.

More than 50 GPs involved in new commissioning groups that will have control of NHS budgets under the changes were critical of the British Medical Association's policy of "blanket opposition" to the Health and Social Care Bill.

The group claims previous reforms have not gone far enough and the health service has consequently "paid the price".

In a letter to the Daily Telegraph it states: "Without strong clinical leadership and the co-ordinated efforts of local clinicians the NHS itself may be in peril; local services can only be improved if we all pull together."

The NHS Alliance, which describes itself as "an independent non-political organisation proud to be at the forefront of clinically led commissioning", is behind the letter, the newspaper said.

As well as the BMA, the Royal College of Nurses and the Royal College of Midwives have opposed the proposals, which David Cameron "paused" in the face of public opposition.

"Blanket opposition to the NHS reforms by the British Medical Association and the Royal College of Nurses is not representative of the views of GPs who, like us, already lead CCGs, and the large numbers of GPs and nurses who support us," the letter adds.

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