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New health minister admits Government ‘screwed up’ on reforms

Newly-promoted health minister Anna Soubry has admitted the Government ‘screwed up’ its handling of the NHS reforms.

The new minister admitted making the remark, just days after her appointment as part of the coalition cabinet reshuffle, during a private question-and-answer session at a conference hosted by the NHS Leadership Academy, according to The Daily Telegraph and the BBC.

But in a further statement, Ms Soubry clarified the remark and insisted she backed the reforms.

‘More could have been done’ to explain the benefits and ‘encourage support’ from health professionals, she said.

In a written statement released by the Department of Health, the minister denied being opposed to the changes themselves.

The Conservative MP for Broxtowe said: ‘We could have done more when the plans were set out initially to explain the benefits for patients, and encourage the support of health professionals.

‘That is exactly why we took the rare step last year of pausing the legislation and holding a listening exercise.’

Ms Soubry was a Parliamentary private secretary to the former Health Minister Simon Burns at the time the NHS changes were going through Parliament.