It's been called 'modernisation', 'reorganisation' and even a 'major de-layering'. The government's changes to the way the NHS is structured - as set out by the Health and Social Care Act 2012 - is still being argued about on both sides of the fence.
Labour's Shadow Foreign Secretary, Douglas Alexander, revisited an old claim on yesterday's Question Time:
"There was an unwanted, unannounced top-down reorganisation of the NHS costing £3 billion, which has put in NHS in a weakened financial position which has meant that £1.4bn alone was spent on redundancy payments in the NHS"
The figures haven't changed, and neither have the problems associated with Labour's £3 billion cost. It represents the total funding which local trusts were required by previous NHS Operating Frameworks to set aside for 'non-recurrent' costs.
That can include the costs of transition to a new structure, but it doesn't preclude spending on other one-off projects as well, so it's an imprecise measure of transition costs.
Isn't it nice to have the whole picture?
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