Reforms exceed initial budget

 The controversial NHS reforms are expected to cost £300m more than was previously expected, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said.

The fallout from the Health and Social Care Act is now believed to have cost in the region of between £1.5 billion and £1.6 billion. Originally, the reforms were estimated to total between £1.2bn and £1.3bn.

Ironically, the increase comes at a time when the NHS is tasked with making £20bn of efficiency savings.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt revealed the additional £300m reform costs in a written statement to the House of Commons.

The Act, which was passed through Parliament in March this year, has been formally opposed by a number of high profile organisations, unions, charities and royal colleges who argued it will increase privatisation within the health service and lower standards of care for patients.