A senior Cabinet Minister has apparently told The Times that the reorganisation of the NHS was a mistake and regrets that the reforms, which cost an estimated £3 billion to effect and which gave GP-led bodies £63 billion to spend on health services, were not halted. 

The comments were made in the context of an investigation by The Times which revealed that an apparent £5 billion is being wasted on inefficiencies including “overpayment for supplies, out-of-date drugs, agency workers and empty buildings”.

The current health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has argued that the reforms are saving the NHS money, which is being used to fund more doctors and nurses. However, the NHS remains strapped for cash and, with some staff striking this week over pay freezes, there are concerns that patient safety will be affected.