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Health Services: Wales

Volume 488: debated on Monday 23 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects to finalise a long-term agreement to replace the interim protocol for cross-border treatment in England and Wales. (257337)

The Government expect to agree a protocol with the Welsh Assembly Government as part of the finalisation of NHS business plans for 2009-10.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to paragraph 57 of the Government Response to the Welsh Affairs Committee's interim Report on the provision of cross-border health services for Wales, what research his Department has (a) undertaken and (b) plans to undertake into potential disadvantage to cross-border patients in (i) England and (ii) Wales as a result of differences in the two healthcare systems. (257367)

The core principles of the national health service apply across the United Kingdom and an inevitable and healthy consequence of devolution has been some divergence in health policy. Such divergence is entirely appropriate and provides an opportunity for each part of the NHS to innovate and experiment with different models for the provision and organisation of health care services within a common framework of NHS principles, and to learn from each other. NHS services in both England and Wales have seen significant improvement in recent years.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to paragraph 62 of the Government Response to the Welsh Affairs Committee's interim Report on the provision of cross-border health services for Wales, what plans he has to consult (a) the public, (b) patients and (c) hon. Members on proposals for a long-term agreement on the treatment of cross-border patients. (257368)

If a new cross-border protocol will impact on the range or availability of health services to users, then consultation will take place as appropriate.