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I am pleased that the 2007-08 allocation has allowed North Yorkshire and York PCT to make significant progress against key national targets while addressing its financial struggles. Specifically, within my hon. Friend’s constituency, York Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust should be commended on improving its Healthcare
28 Apr 2008 : Column 146
Commission quality of service rating from good in 2005-06 to excellent in 2006-07. Furthermore, I know that North Yorkshire and York PCT, like every PCT in England, is developing plans for a polyclinic in the region to improve access and better meet the needs of patients. Let me reassure my hon. Friend that the polyclinic will be funded by the Department of Health and that the PCT will not be expected to find funds from its own resources unless it chooses to commission extra services. There are no plans to close existing practices, which have often served their population well, or to force a model on to GPs, which appears to be my hon. Friend’s concern.

The local configuration of health services will remain a local matter, to be determined by primary care trusts in partnership with local clinicians and patients. The overriding objective is that primary and community care should be organised around patients in ways that make sense to local communities and commissioners. Yorkshire and the Humber SHA advise me that North Yorkshire and York PCT scored an 86 per cent. satisfaction rate for overall GP opening hours in a patient satisfaction survey, and I hope that the development of any future clinics will help to improve those impressive results further.

The PCT has also addressed service provision problems, in spite of the financial challenges it faces. For example, it has commissioned 60,000 additional units of dental activity since April 2004, and more than 63,000 people have been allocated an NHS dentist across North Yorkshire and York.

I am confident that the local health economy is working together to ensure that the local population of North Yorkshire and York continues to get the best value services available. The health record of the area is commendable and my hon. Friend should be commended for raising this issue tonight and for the manner in which the debate has been conducted.

Question put and agreed to.

Adjourned accordingly at eleven minutes past Eleven o’clock.

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