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Payment by Results threatens GP funds

The Government has promised to channel £500 million savings resulting from its decision to axe almost half of 'arms length' NHS bodies back into patient care. Health Secretary John Reid made the pledge after announcing the number of bodies would be cut from 38 to 20.

The organisations, many of which were created by the present government, spent £4.8 billion in 2003/4 and employ 25,000 people.

Bodies to be abolished include the Health Development Agency, which will be absorbed into NICE, NHS Estates and the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health.

A new NHS Business Services Authority will replace the NHS Pensions Agency, the Dental Practice Board, the Prescriptions Pricing Authority and the NHS Counter Fraud and Security Management Service.

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