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Access to NHS Services

Part of Opposition Day — [15th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 4:43 pm on 3rd July 2007.

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Photo of Andrew Lansley Andrew Lansley Shadow Secretary of State for Health 4:43 pm, 3rd July 2007

I entirely share my hon. Friend's concern, and he has been a redoubtable fighter for the interests of children who need speech and language therapy. There are two aspects to the problem. First, we must make sure that those who are in college training to be therapists find posts and are employed in the community. Secondly, I do not think that we are going to join up the services terribly effectively, given the present arrangements at the centre. It is not the job of those at the centre to join up services: instead, we should take budgets closer to the patient, allow GPs and PCTs to have access to those budgets, and make clear their responsibilities for commissioning services for young people with speech and language needs. That will mean that parents in particular will have someone to talk to, through whom they can access services. It should be as simple as that.