NHS Services (Access)

Part of Opposition Day — [6th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 6:50 pm on 15th October 2014.

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Photo of Daniel Poulter Daniel Poulter The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health 6:50 pm, 15th October 2014

If the hon. Lady has concerns about local commissioning decisions, she should take them up with local commissioners. Time forbids me from going into the rationing of services by the previous Labour Government. It is important that clinical services are now designed and delivered by front-line health care professionals, and if she is concerned about them, I am sure she will take that up with her local CCG.

Andy Burnham referred to a work force crisis in GP training. It is clear that under this Government 1,000 more GPs are now in training and working in the NHS than in 2010 when we came into government. If it is not accepted that that is good start, we have committed to training an extra 5,000 because we want more people working in general practice.

We have ensured that 1.3 million more people are being treated in A and E compared with the number in 2009-10. We have halved the time that people must wait to be assessed, and every day we are treating nearly 2,000 more people within the four-hour target compared with the number in 2010.

Competition was introduced into the NHS not by the Health and Social Care Act 2012 but by the previous Labour Government, in which the right hon. Member for Leigh was a Minister. The Labour Government opened the door to private sector providers when they opened the first independent sector treatment centres in 2003. The Labour Government gave £250 million to private companies and independent sector treatment centres, regardless of whether they delivered that care. Labour was more concerned about giving money to the private centres than about ensuring that quality care was delivered. Labour paid independent private sector providers 11% more to provide the same care as NHS providers. That is Labour’s record on the private sector in the NHS—a record that shows that it is more committed to the private sector than any previous Conservative Government.