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NHS Long-Term Plan: Implementation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:51 pm on 1st July 2019.

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Photo of Peter Bottomley Peter Bottomley Conservative, Worthing West 3:51 pm, 1st July 2019

As my right hon. Friend said, the first Minister of Health was Christopher Addison, then a Liberal, who abolished his position as President of the Local Government Board to succeed himself as the first Minister of Health in 1919, but the first Secretary of State to hold up a White Paper saying “national health service” was the Conservative Sir Henry Willink in 1944. We must give credit to the Labour party for bringing in the health service, agreed by the coalition Government, in 1948, although we have to recognise that Aneurin Bevan decided to nationalise the hospitals and not the GPs, when most people expected it to be the other way round.

In the experience of my wife, who did five years as Minister for Health and Secretary of State for Health, we should be praising all those who support the clinicians—the support workers, administrators and others who help doctors, nurses and other professionals—to look after us at all stages of our lives. We must have the extra money. I am glad that we have gone beyond the Labour party’s ambitious targets to meet our own ambitious targets, and that we can look forward to doing more, because we have to recognise that health will require a greater proportion of our wealth as we live longer and want better services.