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A&E closure plan to be scrapped

NHS London could be told to axe a cost-cutting scheme that meant closing accident and emergency wards.

The plans were meant to save £5bn a year by 2016.
But new health secretary Andrew Lansley is going to  tell NHS London to rethink the scheme according to reports.

A document prepared for health bosses by a private US firm, has been leaked to BBC London, suggesting cutting 6,000 beds, losing 1,200 nurses and 600 GPs, and making 6,000 administration staff redundant.

A central plank of the overall strategy was to close some A&E wards and replace them with 100 GP "super-clinics".

Among the departments threatened under the original plans were Kingston Hospital in south London and the Whittington Hospital in Archway, north London.

The idea was to offer people a range of treatments nearer to their homes while saving money.
During the election campaign, Mr Lansley said he would scrap the plans "within days" of taking power.

Mr Lansley told the BBC: "As promised, I am calling a halt to NHS London's reconfiguration of services.

"A one-size-fits-all approach will be replaced with devolution of responsibility to clinicians and the public."

An NHS London spokesman said: "NHS London remains committed to improving the quality of care for Londoners.

"The new secretary of state is clear GPs must now take the lead in directing where services are provided locally."