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GP Services

Volume 531: debated on Tuesday 12 July 2011

Will the Minister confirm that the Government would have no objection, and would not put any barrier in the way, if Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and the local Southwark services wished to set up a 24-hour service at Guy’s hospital, with the collaboration of the local community?

As the right hon. Gentleman will know, the local NHS has responsibility for commissioning local primary care services, and in doing so it must take into account the results of the local population and their needs. If he is working with the hospitals and organisations that he has mentioned and he has some constructive ideas that they are going to consider, I too would be personally interested to hear from him about how they envisage doing things.

What has happened to the Labour Government’s guarantee that everybody should be entitled to see their GP within 24 hours, and also be able to book an appointment more than 48 hours ahead? Will the Minister publish a full performance table for GPs, so that the public can make an informed choice?

As the right hon. Gentleman will know, the access measures concerning people being able to see their GP within a reasonable period of time are set out in the quality and outcomes framework. The evidence that I have seen certainly shows that our approach is generally working very well, although there are variations in different parts of the country, especially London, where I believe there is scope for improvement.