By Marcus Leach

Prime Minister David Cameron has delivered a speech on the future of the NHS setting out his five personal guarantees on reform of the health service.

Mr Cameron insisted that NHS modernisation remains essential.

"We will modernise the NHS - because changing the NHS today is the only way to protect the NHS for tomorrow," he said.

The Prime Minister's five pledges are:

- Not to endanger universal coverage - but to make sure it remains a National Health Service.
- Not to break up or hinder efficient and integrated care - but to improve it.
- Not to lose control of waiting times- but to ensure they are kept low.
- Not to cut spending on the NHS - but to increase it.
- Not to sell-off the NHS and create some American-style private system - but to ensure competition benefits patients.

Speaking after the conclusion of the listening exercise last week, the Prime Minister thanked the independent group that had overseen it.

"The whole listening exercise has been overseen by the NHS Future Forum - an independent group of the country's leading NHS professionals and patient representatives, led by the eminent Professor Steve Field," he said.

"I'm hugely grateful to Steve and the whole team for all the work they are doing."

The NHS Future Forum will report its conclusions shortly.

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