Student doctors and nurses are sceptical of the government’s reform plans for the NHS, according to a survey.

Some 45 per cent of those asked said that they fear the government’s restructuring plans will destabilise the NHS for years to come. Only 18 per cent said that the proposed £20bn savings can be achieved without adversely affecting the quality of patient care, compared with 58 per cent who disagree.

The online survey - conducted by Ipsos MORI Social Research Institute on behalf of private health insurance company AXA PPP - involved 153 students of medicine, nursing and midwifery.

The students expected there to be considerable downsides from the replacement of primary care trusts with GP-led commissioning: 58 per cent thought that GPs will spend more time on paperwork under the plans.

AXA PPP healthcare commercial director Fergus Craig said: “Health secretary Andrew Lansley will need to address those concerns if he is to keep our future doctors and nurses on side and in the UK.”