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The Minister of Health is under siege from all sides, as he tries to push his NHS reform plans over the line; health professionals, their unions and colleges, politicians of all political hues—including coalition partners—health policy analysts and media commentators are not backward in coming forward to complain. The timing could hardly be worse, as his headaches are compounded by cuts to public sector spending. He may be reflecting, in his quieter moments, that it is a recipe for the perfect storm.
Although the Prime Minister and Andrew Lansley repeatedly insist that the NHS will not be affected by these large cuts and that frontline services will be protected, this is not the perception and belief of many on the aforementioned frontline. The negativity and hostility to both issues, budgets and reforms, in recent months, have become so great, that the period is strongly reminiscent of earlier times.
Many readers will remember a Conservative Prime Minister making a famous statement in a speech at one of her party's annual …
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