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NHS reform plans to be re-examined

The Government's controversial NHS reforms are to be re-examined after the Health Secretary admitted some groups had "genuine concerns" about the plans, including the speed of the changes.

In the face of mounting opposition, Andrew Lansley was forced to make a Commons statement to defend aspects of the Health and Social Care Bill, which completed its committee stage last week.

He said the Government would take the opportunity of a "natural break" in the passage of the Bill to "pause, listen and engage" over the concerns and bring forward amendments to "improve the plans further".

Ministers recognised that the "speed of progress has brought with it some substantive concerns", he said.

"Some of those concerns are misplaced or based on misrepresentations - but we recognise that some are genuine."

Mr Lansley's comments come after a weekend of speculation about a Government U-turn on the Bill, which has been widely criticised by unions, patient bodies and Royal Colleges.

A cross-party group of MPs also stepped up the pressure on the Government in a damning report calling for "significant changes" to the Bill.

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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