NHS Workforce and Service Development

Part of Opposition Day — [18th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 1:23 pm on 11th October 2006.

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Photo of Patricia Hewitt Patricia Hewitt Secretary of State, Department of Health 1:23 pm, 11th October 2006

My hon. Friend is right. The Conservative party says one thing to one group and a completely different thing to a different group. Conservatives say that they are in favour of more health care close to people's homes—we have just heard it again—but when emergency admissions are cut, as community staff are doing all around the country, when there is more day-case surgery, and some hospitals are not doing enough, and when the average length of stay is reduced, as all the best hospitals are doing, we do not need as many acute beds in some hospitals and we do not need as many staff in those hospitals. When a hospital makes such difficult decisions, and when it makes difficult decisions to bring the NHS back into financial balance instead of allowing the problems to build up over and again and to get worse and worse, the Conservative party completely refuses to support them.