Clinical freedom is a matter that is precious to both sides of the House, and it is something that should not be narrowly interpreted. Doctors have to make decisions that have an impact on their patients.
Does the Minister agree that clinical freedom has to be considered in relation to the professional freedom of other professions within the National Health Service? The real problem is to persuade the various professions in the service to work together in a multi-disciplinary approach rather than to insist on their own freedom being more important than that of others.
The reasons why people emigrate are multifarious. No matter what anybody says, no doctor is motivated into leaving this country by the threat to clinical freedom. That is a canard that was put around in 1946, when the National Health Service Act was introduced. No one believes that any of these claims were substantiated in the light of history.
I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for that question. For two years I was responsible for the Naval Medical Service, and I found there that there was no threat to clinical freedom, and no anxiety on the part of its members about being full-time servants of the Crown.