The editors of three of the UK's leading medical magazines have used a rare joint editorial to condemn the Coalition Government's proposed NHS reforms.
In an editorial published simultaneously, the British Medical Journal, Health Service Journal and Nursing Times have together warned that the "bloated and opaque" Health and Social Care Bill would leave the NHS needing yet another overhaul within five years.
Together the three publications cover a readership comprising doctors, Health Service managers and nurses.
The BMJ has also published research suggesting that abandoning Health Secretary Andrew Lansley's Bill now could save the NHS more than £1 billion in 2013.
Using an online poll the BMJ asks its readers today "does anyone understand why we need the Government plans for the NHS"? At time of writing 723 readers had voted, with just 20 per cent saying yes.
BMJ editor Fiona Godlee, HSJ editor Alastair McLellan and Nursing Times editor Jenni Middleton said that there could be no doubting the "overwhelming sense of distress and lack of confidence in the Government's plans among those who must deliver the service".
They wrote: "Through a combination of poor political judgment and reluctance to engage with criticism, a set of (mostly) reasonable objectives morphed into an old-fashioned top-down reorganisation.
"It also resulted in a bloated and opaque piece of legislation, whose goals could have largely been achieved by other, more effective, means."