NHS Finances

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:11 am on 14th March 2006.

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Photo of Graham Stuart Graham Stuart Conservative, Beverley and Holderness 10:11 am, 14th March 2006

I am always delighted to give way to the hon. Gentleman, but just before I do perhaps I may quote the chairman of the British Medical Association's consultants committee. The Minister may find it harder to dismiss his comments than she does to suggest that Opposition Members are trying to score points for no purpose. The chairman, Dr. Paul Miller, said:

"It is hard to understand why at a time when the government has invested unprecedented funding in the health service, trusts may have to lay off staff and close wards . . . Something is going terribly wrong"—

I can understand why the Minister does not want to listen when she hears this from the chairman of the consultants committee—

"when patients pay the price for these financial problems and the government's lack of joined-up thinking".

That is what the professionals think, and I am interested now to hear from the ever-loyal hon. Gentleman.