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Ministerial Visits

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 5 March 2008

I visited Leicestershire in September, when I visited policing in the community. I look forward to returning to the area soon.

When he comes to north-west Leicestershire, the Prime Minister will receive a warm welcome, not least from the area’s general practitioners, who have implemented our Government’s primary care policies very successfully since 1997. Will he meet those GPs, such as the highly respected Dr. Orest Mulka, whose experience with polyclinics abroad indicates that they will be a step too far and that they might lead to a lower regard for generalist doctors, damage the GP- patient relationship and be wasteful and demoralising as a consequence?

The key priority is that we have more doctors who are serving their communities, not just during working hours but during evenings and weekends. That is why it is right that in every area of the country we are investing more in the GP service. I hope that our GPs will vote for the three extra hours that will allow half the practices in this country to offer weekend opening or evening opening so that doctors are available for people when they need them.