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Does the NHS really need another reorganisation?

Nobody doubts the health service is in a critical condition. But more “reform” could turn out to be no cure at all

By Hugh Alderwick  

© Justin Kase zsixz / Alamy Stock Photo

2020 was the most difficult year in the NHS’s history. 2021—so far—is hardly better. But 2022 already looks more familiar: the NHS appears set for another major reorganisation.

Last week, a draft government white paper on planned NHS legislation—complete with helpful notes such as “[ADD FURTHER DETAIL LATER]”—was leaked online. The timing will feel odd to many, but the idea of reform hasn’t come out of nowhere. The leaked white paper follows a series of requests by national NHS leaders in England for changes to NHS structures and legislation—first in 2019, before the pandemic hit, then again in…

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