Major changes to the structure of the NHS were announced by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government almost as soon as the ballot papers had been counted and the ink had dried on the coalition agreement. But what problem is the government intent on addressing with these changes? Seán Boyle argues that the previous 13 years of Labour management of the NHS, while by no means perfect, resulted in some significant improvements, and there is no reason to believe these would not have continued under the structure that had already emerged. What no one seems to have wanted – from health care professionals to managers to patients – was the potential wholesale disruption of the service, seemingly for its own sake
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