Education and Health

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 9:29 pm on 2nd June 2010.

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Photo of Andy Burnham Andy Burnham Shadow Secretary of State for Health 9:29 pm, 2nd June 2010

What a great note on which to end. We are sure that will come to pass.

I begin by congratulating the Secretaries of State for Health and Education on their new positions. I also welcome back to the Department of Health Mr Burns, who left it in 1997. I trust that he finds the NHS in much better shape than he left it all those years ago. Whatever policy differences we may have, I do not think that any Opposition Member would doubt the conviction or the depth of knowledge with which both Secretaries of State speak in their new roles. The two Departments that they now lead have established impressive collaborative working in recent years, particularly on children's health, on promoting children's activity and on child safeguarding, and I hope that I can begin on a non-partisan note by encouraging them to build on that track record. My right hon. Friend Ed Balls and I rarely missed an opportunity to promote joint working between our two Departments, although we can probably both admit now that jumping on a rope swing was, in retrospect, a promotional step too far.