NHS Workforce and Service Development

Part of Opposition Day — [18th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 12:44 pm on 11th October 2006.

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Photo of Howard Stoate Howard Stoate Labour, Dartford 12:44 pm, 11th October 2006

I am most grateful to the hon. Gentleman for giving way. I cannot help thinking that we might be losing the focus of this debate. Surely what matters in the health service is patient outcomes and patient care. As I still work as a GP, I can point to the fact that it now takes only two weeks to see a cancer consultant and to the fact that waiting lists are falling and GPs are providing much more care in their own practices, thereby significantly reducing the need to refer people to secondary care. Those are significant improvements in patient care, which surely is the purpose of the health service.