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PM hails bold vision of NHS reforms

New plans for NHS reforms are a "once-in-a-generation opportunity" to make the service one of the world's best health systems, according to the Prime Minister.

Gordon Brown hailed health minister and surgeon Lord Darzi's major review of the NHS as a "bold vision" that would require serious commitment from the government to realise.

It will include moves to speed up approval of new drugs in a bid to end the "postcode lottery" of care provision as part of the first NHS "constitution".

Personal budgets for thousands of patients with long-term conditions such as multiple sclerosis and ratings for nurses according to the level of care and empathy they provide will also feature.

It also is expected to include plans to make hospitals publish death rates for dozens of conditions to inform patient choices of where best to go for treatment.

Health Secretary Alan Johnson ordered the review a year ago, promising an "unprecedented" consultation with staff and patients.

Mr Brown said: "If the challenge 10 years ago was capacity, the challenge today is to drive improvements in the quality of care. We need a more personalised NHS, responsive to each of us as individuals, focused on prevention, better equipped to keep us healthy and capable of giving us real control and real choices over our care and our lives."

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Department of Health

Do you agree with Gordon Brown? Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"You are never going to be able to accommodate every individual person. Adequate staffing and infrastructures need to be in place before anything else." - Chris Forest-Potter, Leicester

"Yes, especially with the 'postcode lottery' system." - Kamala Thambiaya, Ealing Hospital NHS Trust