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The Minister of State, Department of Health (Jane Kennedy): Once again, we have had an Opposition day debate that has generated more heat than light from Opposition Members. The Government are taking the NHS forward to a better future, not condemning it to the failures of the past under the previous Government. The NHS is safe with the Government. Access to operations will remain based on need, not on ability to pay.

The Opposition have form. Their 2005 manifesto was clear about what they really wanted to do with the NHS. They wanted to charge for operations. They wanted to make cuts and to take money from mainstream health services and give it as a subsidy to the rich few so that they could jump the queue. They said a lot about deficits during the debate—

Mr. Greg Hands (Hammersmith and Fulham) (Con) rose—

Jane Kennedy: I shall not give way to the hon. Gentleman because I have only a few minutes in which to respond.

With the Government, there are guaranteed waiting times. Under the main Opposition party, there would be a return to unlimited waiting times. Members from Surrey and Sussex complained of longer waiting times. The House might like to learn that there were 8,900 patients in Surrey and Sussex waiting for out-patient appointments in 1998. At present, there are just 2,700. That is still too many and we acknowledge that we have more to do, but we are the Government who will deliver a total patient waiting time, from beginning to end, of 18 weeks. With this Government, queues are being cut. With that lot on the Opposition Benches, queues would be jumped but only by the rich few. Only the Government will safeguard an NHS that is fair to everyone and personal to each of us—[Interruption.] They really do not like it when the facts are put to them, but I shall give each Member who has spoken the facts about their strategic health authority so that the House can note exactly what is being done in terms of resources in their area.

Mrs. Iris Robinson rose—
15 Nov 2005 : Column 892

Jane Kennedy: If the hon. Lady will forgive me, I really cannot give way as I am short of time. She has not been in the Chamber for the whole of the debate, and I want to deal with what has been said.

Only the Labour Government will safeguard an NHS that is fair to everyone and personal to each of us, not as the Opposition want—timely health care but only for those who can afford it. It is true that the main Opposition party voted against our extra investment in the NHS—something that they resisted when it was mentioned by a number of my hon. Friends. In 2001, we made the case for a rise in national insurance contributions to pay for a better health service. The British people backed us because they wanted to put right the damage done by the Conservatives over 18 long, miserable years. The Conservatives opposed our extra investment, so they cannot now complain that the NHS is not improving as fast as they would like and expect to be taken seriously.

If the NHS was once more in the hands of the Opposition, they would again make cuts rather than putting in extra investment for extra nurses, doctors and hospitals. Their record on health is one of failure. When they were in power they failed to invest in our national health service and neglected its progress.

Since 2002 and by 2008, £1.2 billion extra will have been invested in the strategic health authority that covers the South Cambridgeshire constituency. That is paying for 5,934 extra nurses and 352 more doctors in training. The hon. Member for South Cambridgeshire (Mr. Lansley) might like to reflect on the fact that, when the Government came to office in 1997, there was a critical shortage of doctors and nurses because the Conservatives had cut training places for the future. Between 1979 and 1997, waiting lists increased by 400,000 and about 60,000 general and acute beds were cut.

Don't you just love the Liberal Democrats—[Interruption.] Of course, I did not mean you, Mr. Deputy Speaker. We really must press the Liberal Democrats for some sensible policies. The main weakness of their position on health is that they never put forward anything other than a wish list of uncosted ideas without realistic timetables. But they have a secret agenda for breaking up the NHS. In "The Orange Book", leading Liberal Democrats such as the hon. Members for Yeovil (Mr. Laws), for Winchester (Mr.    Oaten) and for Twickenham (Dr. Cable) advocated scrapping the NHS. They do not often speak about that, and the hon. Member for Romsey (Sandra Gidley) certainly did not refer to it, although she said that some things had got better. She should also acknowledge that the number of consultants in the strategic health authority area that covers her constituency has almost doubled and there are 428 more doctors in training. In March 1997, 4,638 people were waiting longer than nine months for in-patient appointments. How many are waiting for in-patient appointments at present? None at all. Not one.

Liberal Democrats persistently face two ways. Their inconsistency is usually dependent on what they believe will buy them the most votes in a locality. For example, they campaign in their localities for foundation trust status, yet they turn their votes against such proposals in the House.
15 Nov 2005 : Column 893

My hon. Friend the Member for Crawley (Laura Moffatt), an acknowledged and fierce campaigner for her local community, noted the tremendous effort made by staff in her local hospital. I hope that she accepts that Crawley primary care trust will receive an increase of about 19.5 per cent. in its resources over the next two years, increasing to £129 million in 2006 and to £141 million in the following year. Far better to be working to recover deficits and improve efficiency and financial management under those circumstances than those that prevailed under the previous Government.

The hon. Member for Eastbourne (Mr. Waterson) should really have a look at what his county council is doing. It would rather pay fines for bed blocking than sort out the problems locally. Resources for the Surrey and Sussex SHA will rise by a total of £1.4 billion.

My hon. Friend the Member for Wirral, West (Stephen Hesford) gave an excellent speech—a robust demolition of Opposition arguments. They really do not like it when the case is put to them. My hon. Friend demonstrated the depth of his knowledge of his constituency and local health services. The Minister of State, my hon. Friend the Member for Doncaster, Central, will be pleased to learn that there are 400 more dentists in the SHA covering Wirral, West, as a result of the extra resources going to the health service. There are 400 more general medical practitioners and 600 more consultants. Opposition Members say that those extra resources are a waste of resources and a waste of time, yet all those extra nurses, doctors and dentists are bringing real and valuable improvements to services, which all our constituents are experiencing.

I am rapidly running out of time. When I listened to the speech of the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam (Mr. Burstow), I was confused about the galloping horses and bolting doors. Some Opposition Members made bizarre contributions.

It is not true to say that the Government are not interested in community hospitals. The new generation of community hospitals will deliver integrated care in a single location that will facilitate multidisciplinary teamwork, which will produce even greater improvements in the services that our constituents receive.

As we said at the outset, the NHS is in receipt of record resources as a result of the Government's policy on NHS funding. With that level of investment, all NHS bodies should be able to plan for and achieve financial balance every year. Indeed, the majority of NHS organisations are delivering service improvements and living within their budgets.

I give credit to the hon. Member for Westbury (Dr. Murrison). He is just about the only Conservative Member who paid tribute to the staff who are delivering the improvements. Those staff deserve our sincere gratitude and support. They will get that from the Government.

Question put, That the original words stand part of the Question:—

The House divided: Ayes 231, Noes 312.
15 Nov 2005 : Column 894

Division No. 93
[7.29 pm


Afriyie, Adam
Ainsworth, Mr. Peter
Alexander, Danny
Amess, Mr. David
Ancram, rh Mr. Michael
Arbuthnot, rh Mr. James
Atkinson, Mr. Peter
Bacon, Mr. Richard
Baldry, Tony
Barker, Gregory
Baron, Mr. John
Beith, rh Mr. Alan
Benyon, Mr. Richard
Beresford, Sir Paul
Binley, Mr. Brian
Blunt, Mr. Crispin
Bone, Mr. Peter
Boswell, Mr. Tim
Brady, Mr. Graham
Brake, Tom
Brazier, Mr. Julian
Breed, Mr. Colin
Brokenshire, James
Brooke, Annette
Browne, Mr. Jeremy
Browning, Angela
Burns, Mr. Simon
Burrowes, Mr. David
Burstow, Mr. Paul
Burt, Alistair
Burt, Lorely
Butterfill, Sir John
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Campbell, Mr. Gregory
Campbell, rh Sir Menzies
Carmichael, Mr. Alistair
Carswell, Mr. Douglas
Cash, Mr. William
Chope, Mr. Christopher
Clappison, Mr. James
Clark, Greg
Clarke, rh Mr. Kenneth
Clegg, Mr. Nick
Clifton-Brown, Mr. Geoffrey
Cox, Mr. Geoffrey
Crabb, Mr. Stephen
Davey, Mr. Edward
Davies, Philip
Djanogly, Mr. Jonathan
Dodds, Mr. Nigel
Donaldson, Mr. Jeffrey M.
Dorrell, rh Mr. Stephen
Dorries, Mrs. Nadine
Duddridge, James
Duncan, Mr. Alan
Duncan Smith, rh Mr. Iain
Dunne, Mr. Philip
Ellwood, Mr. Tobias
Evans, Mr. Nigel
Evennett, Mr. David
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Mr. Michael
Farron, Tim
Featherstone, Lynne
Field, Mr. Mark
Forth, rh Mr. Eric
Fox, Dr. Liam
Francois, Mr. Mark
Gale, Mr. Roger
Garnier, Mr. Edward
Gauke, Mr. David
George, Andrew
Gibb, Mr. Nick
Gidley, Sandra
Gillan, Mrs. Cheryl
Goodman, Mr. Paul
Goodwill, Mr. Robert
Gove, Michael
Gray, Mr. James
Grayling, Chris
Greenway, Mr. John
Grieve, Mr. Dominic
Hague, rh Mr. William
Hammond, Mr. Philip
Hammond, Stephen
Hands, Mr. Greg
Harper, Mr. Mark
Harris, Dr. Evan
Harvey, Nick
Hayes, Mr. John
Heald, Mr. Oliver
Heath, Mr. David
Hemming, John
Hendry, Charles
Herbert, Nick
Hermon, Lady
Hoban, Mr. Mark
Hogg, rh Mr. Douglas
Hollobone, Mr. Philip
Holloway, Mr. Adam
Holmes, Paul
Horam, Mr. John
Horwood, Martin
Howard, rh Mr. Michael
Howarth, David
Hughes, Simon
Huhne, Chris
Hunt, Mr. Jeremy
Hunter, Mark
Hurd, Mr. Nick
Jack, rh Mr. Michael
Jackson, Mr. Stewart
Jenkin, Mr. Bernard
Johnson, Mr. Boris
Jones, Mr. David
Kawczynski, Daniel
Key, Robert
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Kramer, Susan
Laing, Mrs. Eleanor
Lait, Mrs. Jacqui
Lamb, Norman
Lancaster, Mr. Mark
Lansley, Mr. Andrew
Laws, Mr. David
Leech, Mr. John
Leigh, Mr. Edward
Lewis, Dr. Julian
Liddell-Grainger, Mr. Ian
Lidington, Mr. David
Lilley, rh Mr. Peter
Llwyd, Mr. Elfyn
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
Mackay, rh Mr. Andrew
Maclean, rh David
Main, Anne
Malins, Mr. Humfrey
Maples, Mr. John
Mates, rh Mr. Michael
Maude, rh Mr. Francis
May, rh Mrs. Theresa
McCrea, Dr. William
McIntosh, Miss Anne
McLoughlin, rh Mr. Patrick
Mercer, Patrick
Miller, Mrs. Maria
Milton, Anne
Moore, Mr. Michael
Moss, Mr. Malcolm
Mulholland, Greg
Mundell, David
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Newmark, Mr. Brooks
O'Brien, Mr. Stephen
Oaten, Mr. Mark
Öpik, Lembit
Osborne, Mr. George
Ottaway, Richard
Paice, Mr. James
Paisley, Rev. Ian
Paterson, Mr. Owen
Pelling, Mr. Andrew
Penning, Mike
Pickles, Mr. Eric
Pritchard, Mark
Pugh, Dr. John
Randall, Mr. John
Redwood, rh Mr. John
Reid, Mr. Alan
Robathan, Mr. Andrew
Robertson, Hugh
Robertson, Mr. Laurence
Robinson, Mrs. Iris
Robinson, Mr. Peter
Rogerson, Mr. Dan
Rowen, Paul
Ruffley, Mr. David
Russell, Bob
Sanders, Mr. Adrian
Scott, Mr. Lee
Shapps, Grant
Shepherd, Mr. Richard
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, David
Simpson, Mr. Keith
Smith, Sir Robert
Spelman, Mrs. Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spink, Bob
Spring, Mr. Richard
Stanley, rh Sir John
Steen, Mr. Anthony
Streeter, Mr. Gary
Stuart, Mr. Graham
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Mr. Desmond
Swinson, Jo
Swire, Mr. Hugo
Syms, Mr. Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Matthew
Taylor, Dr. Richard
Teather, Sarah
Thurso, John
Tredinnick, David
Turner, Mr. Andrew
Tyrie, Mr. Andrew
Vaizey, Mr. Edward
Villiers, Mrs. Theresa
Walker, Mr. Charles
Wallace, Mr. Ben
Waterson, Mr. Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Webb, Steve
Whittingdale, Mr. John
Widdecombe, rh Miss Ann
Wiggin, Bill
Willetts, Mr. David
Williams, Hywel
Williams, Mark
Williams, Stephen
Willott, Jenny
Wilshire, Mr. David
Wilson, Mr. Rob
Wilson, Sammy
Winterton, Ann
Winterton, Sir Nicholas
Wright, Jeremy
Young, rh Sir George
Younger-Ross, Richard

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Henry Bellingham and
Andrew Selous


Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, rh Mr. Bob
Alexander, rh Mr. Douglas
Allen, Mr. Graham
Anderson, Mr. David
Anderson, Janet
Armstrong, rh Hilary
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, Mr. Ian
Austin, John
Bailey, Mr. Adrian
Baird, Vera
Balls, Ed
Banks, Gordon
Barlow, Ms Celia
Barron, rh Mr. Kevin
Battle, rh John
Beckett, rh Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne
Bell, Sir Stuart
Benton, Mr. Joe
Betts, Mr. Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blackman-Woods, Dr. Roberta
Blears, rh Hazel
Blizzard, Mr. Bob
Blunkett, rh Mr. David
Borrow, Mr. David S.
Bradshaw, Mr. Ben
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, rh Mr. Gordon
Brown, Lyn
Brown, rh Mr. Nicholas
Brown, Mr. Russell
Browne, rh Mr. Des
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, Andy
Butler, Ms Dawn
Byers, rh Mr. Stephen
Byrne, Mr. Liam
Caborn, rh Mr. Richard
Cairns, David
Campbell, Mr. Alan
Campbell, Mr. Ronnie
Caton, Mr. Martin
Cawsey, Mr. Ian
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben
Chaytor, Mr. David
Clark, Ms Katy
Clark, Paul
Clarke, rh Mr. Charles
Clarke, rh Mr. Tom
Clelland, Mr. David
Clwyd, rh Ann
Coaker, Mr. Vernon
Coffey, Ann
Cohen, Harry
Connarty, Michael
Cooper, Rosie
Cooper, Yvette
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cousins, Jim
Creagh, Mary
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Mrs. Ann
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Mr. Jim
Cunningham, Tony
Darling, rh Mr. Alistair
David, Mr. Wayne
Davidson, Mr. Ian
Dean, Mrs. Janet
Denham, rh Mr. John
Devine, Mr. Jim
Dhanda, Mr. Parmjit
Dismore, Mr. Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Dobson, rh Frank
Doran, Mr. Frank
Dowd, Jim
Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth
Durkan, Mark
Eagle, Angela
Eagle, Maria
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs. Louise
Engel, Natascha
Ennis, Jeff
Etherington, Bill
Farrelly, Paul
Field, rh Mr. Frank
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flello, Mr. Robert
Flint, Caroline
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Mr. Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings and Rye)
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
Gerrard, Mr. Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Mr. Roger
Goggins, Paul
Goodman, Helen
Griffith, Nia
Griffiths, Nigel
Grogan, Mr. John
Gwynne, Andrew
Hall, Mr. Mike
Hall, Patrick
Hamilton, Mr. David
Hamilton, Mr. Fabian
Hanson, Mr. David
Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Harris, Mr. Tom
Havard, Mr. Dai
Healey, John
Henderson, Mr. Doug
Hendrick, Mr. Mark
Hepburn, Mr. Stephen
Heppell, Mr. John
Hesford, Stephen
Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia
Heyes, David
Hill, rh Keith
Hillier, Meg
Hodge, rh Margaret
Hodgson, Mrs. Sharon
Hoey, Kate
Hoon, rh Mr. Geoffrey
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, rh Mr. George
Hoyle, Mr. Lindsay
Hughes, rh Beverley
Humble, Mrs. Joan
Hutton, rh Mr. John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Illsley, Mr. Eric
Ingram, rh Mr. Adam
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jackson, Glenda
James, Mrs. Siân C.
Jenkins, Mr. Brian
Johnson, rh Alan
Johnson, Ms Diana R.
Jones, Helen
Jones, Mr. Kevan
Jones, Lynne
Jones, Mr. Martyn
Jowell, rh Tessa
Joyce, Mr. Eric
Keeley, Barbara
Keen, Alan
Keen, Ann
Kemp, Mr. Fraser
Kennedy, rh Jane
Khan, Mr. Sadiq
Kidney, Mr. David
Kilfoyle, Mr. Peter
Knight, Jim
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lammy, Mr. David
Laxton, Mr. Bob
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Lewis, Mr. Ivan
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony
Love, Mr. Andrew
MacDougall, Mr. John
Mackinlay, Andrew
MacShane, rh Mr. Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
Malik, Mr. Shahid
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John
Marris, Rob
Marsden, Mr. Gordon
Marshall, Mr. David
Marshall-Andrews, Mr. Robert
Martlew, Mr. Eric
McAvoy, rh Mr. Thomas
McCabe, Steve
McCarthy, Kerry
McCarthy-Fry, Sarah
McDonagh, Siobhain
McDonnell, John
McFadden, Mr. Pat
McFall, rh Mr. John
McGovern, Mr. Jim
McIsaac, Shona
McKenna, Rosemary
McNulty, Mr. Tony
Meacher, rh Mr. Michael
Meale, Mr. Alan
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Milburn, rh Mr. Alan
Miliband, rh Mr. David
Miliband, Edward
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Mr. Austin
Moffat, Anne
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moon, Mrs. Madeleine
Moran, Margaret
Morden, Jessica
Morgan, Julie
Morley, Mr. Elliot
Mountford, Kali
Mullin, Mr. Chris
Munn, Meg
Murphy, Mr. Denis
Murphy, Mr. Jim
Murphy, rh Mr. Paul
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, Mr. Mike
O'Hara, Mr. Edward
Olner, Mr. Bill
Osborne, Sandra
Owen, Albert
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Pearson, Ian
Plaskitt, Mr. James
Pope, Mr. Greg
Prentice, Bridget
Prentice, Mr. Gordon
Prescott, rh Mr. John
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Mr. Ken
Purnell, James
Rammell, Bill
Reed, Mr. Andy
Reed, Mr. Jamie
Reid, rh John
Riordan, Mrs. Linda
Robertson, John
Robinson, Mr. Geoffrey
Rooney, Mr. Terry
Ruane, Chris
Russell, Christine
Ryan, Joan
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mr. Mohammad
Seabeck, Alison
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Mr. Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Short, rh Clare
Simon, Mr. Siôn
Simpson, Alan
Skinner, Mr. Dennis
Slaughter, Mr. Andrew
Smith, Ms Angela C. (Sheffield, Hillsborough)
Smith, Angela E. (Basildon)
Smith, Geraldine
Smith, rh Jacqui
Smith, John
Snelgrove, Anne
Soulsby, Sir Peter
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, rh Mr. John
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Stewart, Ian
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Mr. Gerry
Tami, Mark
Taylor, Ms Dari
Taylor, David
Thomas, Mr. Gareth
Thornberry, Emily
Timms, Mr. Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mr. Mark
Touhig, Mr. Don
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Mr. Paul
Turner, Dr. Desmond
Turner, Mr. Neil
Ussher, Kitty
Vaz, Keith
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Walley, Joan
Waltho, Lynda
Ward, Claire
Wareing, Mr. Robert N.
Watson, Mr. Tom
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, rh Mr. Alan
Winnick, Mr. David
Winterton, Ms Rosie
Wood, Mike
Woodward, Mr. Shaun
Woolas, Mr. Phil
Wright, Mr. Anthony
Wright, David
Wright, Mr. Iain
Wright, Dr. Tony
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Dave Watts and
Mr. Frank Roy

Question accordingly negatived.

15 Nov 2005 : Column 897

Question, That the proposed words be there added, put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 31 (Questions on amendments), and agreed to.

Mr. Deputy Speaker forthwith declared the main Question, as amended, to be agreed to.


15 Nov 2005 : Column 898

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