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RCS statement: cuts not reforms the biggest risk to UK patients

05 September 2011

Disorganised slashing of frontline services by rudderless NHS organisations pose the biggest threat to UK patients and the uncertainty about the NHS reforms should end so bureaucracy can be cut instead. This is the message of the Royal College of Surgeons as the Health and Social Care Bill undergoes its third reading in the House of Commons.

RCS President, Professor Norman Williams said:

“The central aim of putting decisions on which treatments to focus in the hands of clinicians and their patients represent the right way forward. The new emphasis on how integration benefits patients, commitments to transparency in medical outcome and audit reporting, promotion of innovation and the cutting of bureaucracy are all to be welcomed. What matters now is that the indecision currently wracking the NHS is ended so the short-term slashing of operations can be replaced by long-term planning which can efficiently deliver quality for patients.”

As the Bill undertakes its next stage through parliament the RCS would welcome more detail on how the new clinical senates to advise commissioning groups will be composed and how clinical networks will be embedded in the new NHS. A full up-to-date briefing on the RCS view of the legislation can be found at here.


Notes to Editors

1.    The Royal College of Surgeons of England is committed to enabling surgeons to achieve and maintain the highest standards of surgical practice and patient care. Registered charity number: 212808. For more information please visit

2.    If you have any queries please contact:

Matthew Worrall     – Email:; T: 020 7869 6047

Elaine Towell        – Email:; T: 020 7869 6045

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