Devolution has prompted the NHS Confederation to consider developing a separate Scottish organisation.

A 'Scottish NHS Confederation' would still be linked to the UK body, but would be accountable to an eightstrong Scottish management committee.

Martin Hill, Scottish representative on the confederation's council, said: 'The fact that the UK council is so Anglo-centric becomes a problem when a policy is so divergent.We need a stronger voice to influence policy.'

At the moment, 66 per cent of Scottish NHS organisations that could belong to the confederation actually belong. If 70 per cent joined the new organisation, it would have an income of£125,000. If all joined this would rise to just under£180,000.

The paper admits: 'The funding for the Scottish organisation would be very tight, ' and the new organisation would have only two staff - a director and press officer.