NHS future

Health secretary Andrew Lansley has confirmed the coalition government's plans for the future of the NHS.

Some of the measures included in the health white paper unveiled to MPs this afternoon include handing more power to GPs, along with an extra £80 million of funding to help with the additional pressures.

GPs will now have responsibility for the bulk of service provision, including out-of-hours care and deciding which hospitals patients should be sent to for treatment.

The shift will create a market dynamic, as GPs' decisions are guided by the quality of the service provided, although it is argued the change may be difficult to achieve, with reluctant GPs having to be forced to participate.

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