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Johnson hints at content of Darzi review

By Steve Nowottny

Health Secretary Alan Johnson this week took another swipe at the BMA's 'Support Your Surgery' campaign, as he told NHS managers what to expect from Lord Darzi's imminent review of the NHS.

Speaking at the NHS Confederation conference in Manchester, Mr Johnson said his respect for the NHS was 'not based on a kind of soppy sentimentality.'

Although not referring to the BMA's campaign directly, he told delegates it was not his job 'protect vested interests of the various professional bodies who from time to time dress their self interest in the clothes of patient concern.'

Mr Johnson also hinted at what GPs and manager could expect from Lord Darzi's impending report, due to be published within the next couple of weeks.

'I can't lift the veil on the report but I can show a bit of leg,' he said, calling it 'the most important development in the history of the NHS.'

'The content of the report will be determined by the local visions published by each SHA,' he added, and there would be no new national targets or structural changes to the NHS.

But primary care will be put 'centre stage' by the review, he said, with a new Primary Care Strategy due to be published at the same time.

'Investing in primary care, particularly in areas where provision is scant, will remain a national priority and despite noises off stage we will continue to advocate nationally in the interests of patients improved access and a high quality of primary care.'

Alan Johnson: health secretary in fresh blast at BMA Alan Johnson: health secretary in fresh blast at BMA

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