NHS chiefs who are trying to save money should not do so through implementing 'slash and burn' cuts, doctors' leaders have urged.
Chairman of the British Medical Association (BMA), Dr Hamish Meldrum, said heath boards face a number of difficult challenges over the next few months, including proposed reforms in England, UK-wide pressure on NHS finances and changes to the health service pension scheme.
Dr Meldrum said that the reform plans included some positive changes to the NHS, but warned that any progress must not be hindered by "short term" cuts to frontline care.
He said the challenge of limited resources, growing demand and an extremely difficult financial position experienced by the NHS across the UK "is the biggest it has ever faced in its 63 years.
"There is a huge difference between adapt and change and slash and burn, between carefully planned reorganisations and knee-jerk closures and redundancies."