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Health bill launch - live blog

With all the drama of Westminster - the publication of the Health and Social Care Bill, as it happened

By Pulse news desk

With all the drama of Westminster - the publication of the Health and Social Care Bill, as it happened

17.28 It may be the bill introducing GP commissioning, but it's not all about GPs you know. Latest reaction to hit the email inbox comes from Pharmacy Voice, the organisation representing pharmacy owners, warning that 'GPs can't deliver reform by themselves'.

'The NHS is about more than doctors, and GP commissioning has to be about more than GPs,' the statement from chief executive Rob Darracott reads.

'The health secretary acknowledges that pharmacists have an important and expanding role in supporting better health, but we now need to see his words backed by action. Pharmacists see more people, more often, even than GPs do.

16.56 The BMA has issued its initial response to the health bill - and it's lukewarm at best.

Dr Hamish Meldrum, BMA chair, warns: 'Ploughing ahead with these changes as they stand, at such speed, at a time of huge financial pressures, and when NHS staff and experts have so many concerns, is a massive gamble.'

Read more from the BMA statement here.

16.20 We've published a round-up story of what we know so far here: Health bill sets out smallprint of GP commissioning revolution

15.07 NHS Commissioning Board will have the power to 'dissolve' consortia.

14.38: Documents reveal reforms will cost a cool £1.5 billion in total. More to come on this.

14.17 Full text of the Health Bill here. If you have a spare five minutes let us know what you think of all 367 pages

14.02 RCGP issues response to health bill (impressive considering it has only been released for two minutes) saying it still has concerns over the 'fragmentation and unnecessary duplication' of services in a health service with private and public providers.

14.00 Press conference on bill has begun as the Telegraph reports growing public opposition to the plans, with an online petition from the NHS Support Federation (no, I haven't heard of them either) attracting over 10,000 signatures.

13.20 The health bill featured prominently, as you'd expect, at Prime Minister's Questions today - you can read a play-by-play over on the Guardian's liveblog here - and we're almost on to the main event. Pulse senior reporter Gareth Iacobucci and online reporter Laura Passi are about to depart for Richmond House, armed with a serious array of highlighter pens.

10.26 Lots of coverage in the nationals previewing the health bill this morning, although not an awful lot in terms of actual detail - stories in the Telegraph and the Guardian are probably the pick of the bunch.

More interesting though is the range of GP opinion deployed across the nationals - commissioning enthusiast and Kingston GP Dr Charles Alessi writes a very positive piece for the Sun, while Tower Hamlets GP Dr Kambiz Boomla offers a very different perspective in the Socialist Worker.

09.24 Welcome to Pulse's live coverage of the publication of the Health and Social Care Bill. We'll be reporting the very latest on the bill's publication throughout the day as it is laid before Parliament, and collating expert analysis and reaction from GPs and other stakeholders.

Bookmark this page for up-to-the-minute updates, and you can also check our special Health and Social Care Bill 2011 page on the site which will round-up all our coverage as we publish it.

The Health and Social Care Bill will be laid before Parliament today The Health and Social Care Bill will be laid before Parliament today

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