Nick Clegg defends NHS bill at Lib Dem conference

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Liberal Democrats have decided against holding a debate calling for changes to the NHS in England to be dropped.

The party voted at its spring conference in Gateshead not to take an emergency motion urging the withdrawal of the Health and Social Care Bill.

Instead it backed Baroness Williams' rival option supporting the changes.

The controversial bill, which aims to give GPs control of much of the NHS budget, has changed "out of all recognition", leader Nick Clegg said.

In a question and answer session at the conference, he said making GPs more responsible for patients was "not an outrageous idea".

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