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Lib Dems reveal NHS shake-up plans

The Liberal Democrats would drastically alter the shape of the NHS to cut bureaucracy and save cash if elected, the party's manifesto has claimed.

Among the plans unveiled were proposals to cut the size of the Department of Health in half, and scrap all strategic health authorities, which the document claimed only acted as an extra "tier" between hospitals and government.

Money would be also be saved through capping the pay and bonuses of top NHS managers and getting rid of "unnecessary quangos", foremost among them Connecting for Health which is overseeing the multi-billion pound NHS IT upgrade.

Patients would be given more power by the establishment of treatment guarantees and elected local health boards, which would replace primary care trust boards.

By linking payments more closely with preventive measures, GPs and health boards would have a financial incentive to promote healthy living.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

Liberal Democrats

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

"I am impressed! Hope they get in with a majority" - Pam Fry, Berkshire

"First rate ideas. I wholeheartedly approve of the idea of local health boards as long as they don't become political footballs and/or dominated by Councillors and other local politicians" - John Hooker, Durham

"Linking GP payments with preventive measures in theory sounds good. However, in practice it is often a paper exercise linked to money!" - Name and address supplied