Is the Government's plan eventually to privatise all NHS trusts, either by management buy-outs or by takeovers by companies such as BUPA and AMI, in terms of which Stonehaven hospital is the first classic example? Will that development be linked to private health insurance, giving us a fully private health care system? When will the Government come clean about their true plans?
I can tell the hon. Gentleman that services will continue to be provided free at the point of delivery, whoever provides them and, of course, we are interested in the highest possible standards of service.
The hon. Gentleman will be interested to see that no less a person than the adviser to the last Labour Secretary of State for Health has written in the Fabian Review:
There is now overwhelming evidence that GP fundholders are able to get a better deal for their patients … It makes sense to build on what has been achieved and induce more GPs to join the system.
That is confirmation that what the Government are doing is entirely on the right tracks from one of the hon. Gentleman's party colleagues.