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Government cuts axe wielded on health department bodies

27 July 2010

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The new government’s swingeing cuts will pass through health quangos, reducing their numbers by half, the health secretary has announced.

Andrew Lansley (pictured) said the Health Protection Agency, the National Patient Safety Agency, the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse and the Alcohol Education and Research Council will all be cut.

Other bodies are to be “streamlined”, with key functions being transferred back to the Department of Health or other relevant bodies.

The number of health quangos will come down from the current 18 to between eight and 10. No staff members will be made redundant immediately but the department would give no figure for the number of workers soon to be out of a job.

Mr Lansley said the cuts will amount to at least £180m by 2014-15.

“In order to secure every possible means to greater value for money and efficiency, we have acted decisively to ensure that our ALB (arm’s length bodies) sector remains fit for purpose and affordable, the minister insisted.

“Over the years, the sector has grown to the point where overlap between organisations and duplication of effort have produced a needless bureaucratic web.

“By making sure that the right functions are being carried out at the appropriate level, we will free up significant savings to support frontline NHS services.”

Copyright © Press Association 2010

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