The Government's controversial NHS reforms are to cost £300 million more than previously thought, the Health Secretary has disclosed.
Implementing the Health and Social Care Act is now expected to cost the taxpayer between £1.5 billion and £1.6 billion, said Jeremy Hunt.
The cost of rolling out the reforms was initially thought to be between £1.2 billion and £1.3 billion, he revealed in a written statement to the House of Commons.
The Act became law in March after a tortuous passage through Parliament. Unions fought strenuously against the Act, which has been recently been referred to as the "mother of all top-down reorganisations".
The Royal College of General Practitioners chairwoman Dr Clare Gerada also said the reorganisation had put the NHS "in distress".
At its annual conference in Glasgow earlier this month, Dr Gerada said that, while the Act applies to England only, all the health services across the UK are under pressure to find ways of delivering services more efficiently without compromising the quality of patient care.