England

Derriford and Royal Cornwall hospital staff oppose NHS changes

Protest vigil at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth
Image caption The vigil at Plymouth's Derriford Hospital was one of more than 20 held across the UK

Health workers from hospitals in Devon and Cornwall have taken part in vigils to highlight their opposition to the proposed shake-up of the NHS.

If the Health and Social Care is approved, budgets and commissioning decisions would be handed to GPs.

The vigils were held at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth and the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro.

Jon Taylor, from the health union Unison, claimed most clinicians did not support the plans.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has said change is "essential" and the aim of the legislation was to drive up standards in the NHS.

But Mr Taylor told BBC News: "Mr Lansley says that this bill is about putting clinicians at the forefront of care and putting power in the hands of the clinical professionals... but the evidence says that the majority of frontline staff actually oppose the bill."

The two South West candlelit vigils were among more than 20 held across the UK.

The bill, which cleared its final reading in the House of Lords on Monday, will be debated in an emergency Commons debate later.

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