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PM warned not to undermine NHS

Prime Minister David Cameron has been warned not to undermine the NHS with radical reforms.

The warning came from Dr Clare Gerada, Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), in a letter which outlined 'serious concerns' about some of the proposals and offered suggestions how to make the planned changes more palatable.

The letter follows dissent over the reforms which led to an unprecedented vote of no confidence in Health Secretary Andrew Lansley from nurses in April.

Among the nine recommendations detailed in the RCPG letter was a call for an absolute assurance that the bill would not force doctors to breach their duty of confidentiality.

The RCGP also suggested the NHS must remain a comprehensive service that is available to all, free at the point of use and based on clinical need, not on the ability to pay.

To listen to concerns raised by the proposals, the coalition government has called a pause in the passing of the Health and Social Care Bill.

The bill has sparked tensions within the government, with Lib Dem leader, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, threatening to veto the reforms.

Copyright © Press Association 2011

Royal College of General Practitioners