Homeopathic Hospitals

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:00 am on 19th February 2008.

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Photo of Ivan Lewis Ivan Lewis Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health) (Care Services) 2:00 am, 19th February 2008

In my speech thus far, I have articulated clearly the Government and NHS position on complementary therapies, so I hope that any documents that have been circulated and that give a false or misleading perception will be corrected by the record. The hon. Gentleman may pray those comments in aid, if he so wishes. Beyond that, primary care trusts in every community and every part of the country have a clear set of priorities that the Government lay down for the outcomes that they are expected to achieve with regard to health and well-being in their local communities. A range of other choices are left to primary care trusts to decide in the best interests of their local communities.

The hon. Gentleman should be a little more frank in his contribution. Under any Government there are finite resources. There is no doubt that under the present Government an unprecedented level of resources have been invested in the national health service in the past eight or nine years. Beyond the clearly defined and understood priorities, any system will require commissioners to make difficult choices. Based on the needs of their local population, based on what patients and carers tell them about what matters most, and based on evidence and outcomes, commissioners will be required to make those choices. Beyond the clear national priorities and the NHS operating framework that we issue to chief executives of primary care trusts, it is not for Ministers sitting in offices in Westminster and Whitehall to tell PCTs how they ought to make those daily difficult decisions.