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GPs to take control of £65 billion

GPs, nurses and other health professionals would get control of £65 billion in health funding under plans to reform the NHS.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said the changes would allow money to get where it is most needed - on the front line - rather than being spent on bureaucracy.

The controversial plans have provoked widespread criticism, with many health bodies and unions calling for the reforms to be scrapped.

However, Mr Lansley said giving Clinical Commissioning Groups control over the funding would mean the money is spent "where it matters most" on patient care.

Announcing the plans, Mr Lansley said an additional £5.2 billion would be spent on public health services. Of this, he said at least £2.2 billion will be protected to ensure it goes direct to local authorities to "help local people to live healthy lives".

The figures, which were developed by mapping PCT spending in 2010/11 on to the future structure, also show that the NHS Commissioning Board will be responsible for around £21 billion in funding.

Copyright Press Association 2012

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