A Suffolk MP says he sees "considerable merit" in an NHS reform plan that would see more responsibility devolved to local health bosses.

MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, Dr Dan Poulter, supported the idea of allowing more local control over the delivery of many day-to-day NHS services, but said managers would need to receive "better financial training" and "gain experience of working outside the NHS" in order for the plan to succeed.

East Anglian Daily Times: Dr Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North IpswichDr Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich (Image: Newsquest)

As revealed by the i newspaper, the idea for greater regional power has emerged as part of a review being conducted by Patricia Hewitt, a former Labour health secretary, of how NHS care in England is administered in managed. 

It is believed the proposals would see the abolition of most health service targets next year, with the NHS poised to be run along similar lines to schools.

"While some, more specialist patient services need to be co-ordinated regionally and delivered at a national level, there is considerable merit in more local control," said Dr Poulter, who himself works as an NHS mental health doctor.

"More should be done to better integrate GP services with hospitals and more specialist care, reducing internal NHS bureaucracy."

Many ministers believed the NHS has become too centralised, with individual hospital trusts and GP practices tailoring their work to meet dozens of different targets - 72 in total for GPs.

East Anglian Daily Times: The plan would see local NHS bosses given more powerThe plan would see local NHS bosses given more power

They argue devolving responsibility to local managers would allow them to best hit a smaller number of broad goals.

"However, we should be aware that the quality of NHS management can be highly variable," added Dr Poulter. 

"In our area, we are lucky to have good local leaders, but NHS managers are not always good at managing budgets or at delivering the rapid service transformations in patient care that are required.

"If this plan is to work, we could need to see better financial training for NHS managers and more senior NHS managers would need to gain experience of working outside the NHS, including in the private sector, to ensure money is not wasted and it delivers better patient care."