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In today’s debate, not only has the need to move from a target-driven NHS to a health outcomes-driven NHS been spelt out, but so, too, has the means by which we can achieve that, which is what people want. I hope that the Government, who no doubt had their eyes and ears officially at the launch of our document today, are listening carefully, because our proposals—and this document—are there for them to pick up. We do not just have pride of authorship in the document; we hope that they will pick up on it, as it will lead to better health outcomes for our constituents and give a proper
24 Jun 2008 : Column 254
chance for the NHS to develop over the next 60 years in the way that we all wish, particularly as we celebrate its first 60 years.

In congratulating the NHS on its 60th anniversary, we thank, celebrate and encourage all the staff, past and present and clinical and non-clinical alike. They can be assured of our support on behalf of our constituents, and know that all of us draw inspiration from the very idea of the NHS. All we want is for it to reach the levels of improvement that we know it can achieve when the people in it are trusted to deliver the improved health outcomes we all want. I commend the motion to the House.

9.51 pm

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Ann Keen): I, too, am exceptionally proud and very pleased to wind up in this debate on 60 years of the health service. First, let me say to the hon. Member for Eddisbury (Mr. O'Brien) on his history of family nursing, I think it is time I met Mrs. O’Brien.

This July, we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the NHS, which is not only a great institution but a great, unique and very British expression of the ideal that health care is not a privilege to be purchased, but a moral right secured for all. Opposition Members have made much about references to history. They might have a point if they were talking about 1946 and 1948, but I cannot see how history can start as recently as 2005—that is not long ago—when the Conservative election manifesto proposed patient passports, and not all Conservative Members agreed with the funding of the NHS in that way. Surely, 2005 cannot be described as history?

Much has been said in particular about the NHS founder, Aneurin Bevan, but also about Sir William Beveridge, who looked at the five giants. However, since I was first elected as a Member of this House in 1997 the main Opposition parties have voted against anything that would actually bring about the defeat of the five giants of want, disease, squalor, ignorance and idleness. That is not history; that is 1997, when the greatest inequality addressed in the House was to do with the minimum wage, and the Opposition parties voted against that.

I therefore feel that history is not, perhaps, what we should be discussing, but I can certainly give a lesson in “herstory”, because “herstory” worked in the NHS throughout most of the time that the Conservatives were in government. I visited the north-east today, and met staff who were born in 1948 and who are working in the NHS today. I particularly want to mention Irene Lerche, who is an appointment and records officer, and Agnes Donoghey, who works for domestic services. I also met up with an old friend: an ambulance driver who was in Chester.

Ten years ago, people questioned whether the British NHS could survive. It is a testimony to the extraordinary work done by nurses, doctors and all NHS staff— [Interruption.] I ask Opposition Members just to take a lesson from “herstory”; she only has a few minutes. In the 10 years since I have been in this House, the NHS is more firmly than ever part of the fabric of British national life.

24 Jun 2008 : Column 255

Deaths from cancer and heart disease have fallen dramatically and Britain is one of the safest places in the world to give birth. The NHS is the largest employer in Europe. Its staff both past and present have helped to care for tens of millions of people and saved many hundreds of thousands of lives. We acknowledge that the NHS has come through difficult times, and it is a testimony to the hard work and dedication of its staff that it has turned a £547 million deficit in 2005-06 into a £515 million net surplus at 2006-07. All are to be congratulated.

Tonight, we also need to recognise the volunteers and charitable organisations that have made a huge contribution to the success of the NHS and to the health and well-being of patients. We would particularly like to thank charities not only for their contribution to patients’ and their families’ lives, but also for their support and ongoing partnership with the Government, which is so valuable in determining the best outcomes for patients. Be it our cancer strategy or our stroke strategy, all have contributed; everybody feels part of this NHS. Stakeholders are constantly consulted and their documents shared, and they are proud of the documents that they have produced. Not acknowledging the organisations that praise the national stroke strategy in particular does nothing for the Conservative party. The chief executive of the Stroke Association has highlighted that strategy, which I believe it is celebrating this week.

One million more operations a year are performed, and heart operations have more than doubled, so I am pleased to say that we do more than hope; we are really meeting our targets on heart disease, which should be welcomed by the Opposition parties. If this is a true debate on really acknowledging the changes that have taken place, we should have the acknowledgment that the targets have made a difference. The difference that they have made is that people are alive, and their quality of life is better. They are not in pain or worried about whether they will see the end of the year out, until the next waiting list figures are produced. They are alive and well and their quality of life has increased dramatically. That is thanks to the dedication and commitment of staff. A number of NHS trusts around the country have already delivered on the 18-week target—nine months early.

Next week, the NHS “next stage” review will build on the progress that it has made with a new vision for the NHS based on care that is fair, personalised, effective and safe. We commend our noble Friend and colleague Lord Darzi and his work. The major review that he has led will inevitably result in a significant improvement in patient-centred care. I am quite clear that the NHS must continue to change. To quote Sister Wendy Larmouth, the sister in charge, along with Professor Andrew Cant, of the northern regional bone marrow transplant unit,

That is a truly remarkable team, and the unit is ranked No. 3 in Europe. We must continue to organise medical expertise so that the highest standards of care are available to all patients. If we can achieve all this—I hope Members throughout the House agree that this should be a shared objective—we will make the NHS safe for future generations.

At the last election, we fought battles on the NHS. We have constantly been reminded in the House of the history. “Are you thinking what we’re thinking?” was a
24 Jun 2008 : Column 256
slogan at the time. Well, the British people knew what to think. They re-elected a Labour Government to secure the NHS. I believe that the NHS is the best insurance system for the long term, and even more relevant to Britain today than it was in 1948. I commend our amendment to the House.

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

The House divided: Ayes 189, Noes 286.
Division No. 229]
[9.59 pm


Afriyie, Adam
Ainsworth, Mr. Peter
Alexander, Danny
Amess, Mr. David
Atkinson, Mr. Peter
Baldry, Tony
Barker, Gregory
Baron, Mr. John
Barrett, John
Bellingham, Mr. Henry
Bercow, John
Beresford, Sir Paul
Blunt, Mr. Crispin
Bone, Mr. Peter
Brady, Mr. Graham
Brazier, Mr. Julian
Breed, Mr. Colin
Brooke, Annette
Browne, Mr. Jeremy
Burns, Mr. Simon
Burrowes, Mr. David
Burstow, Mr. Paul
Butterfill, Sir John
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Campbell, Mr. Gregory
Carmichael, Mr. Alistair
Carswell, Mr. Douglas
Clarke, rh Mr. Kenneth
Cox, Mr. Geoffrey
Crabb, Mr. Stephen
Davies, David T.C. (Monmouth)
Davies, Philip
Djanogly, Mr. Jonathan
Dodds, Mr. Nigel
Dorrell, rh Mr. Stephen
Dorries, Mrs. Nadine
Duncan Smith, rh Mr. Iain
Ellwood, Mr. Tobias
Evennett, Mr. David
Fallon, Mr. Michael
Farron, Tim
Featherstone, Lynne
Field, Mr. Mark
Foster, Mr. Don
Francois, Mr. Mark
Fraser, Christopher
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
Green, Damian
Greening, Justine
Grieve, Mr. Dominic
Gummer, rh Mr. John
Hague, rh Mr. William
Hammond, Mr. Philip
Hammond, Stephen
Hands, Mr. Greg
Harper, Mr. Mark
Harvey, Nick
Hayes, Mr. John
Heald, Mr. Oliver
Heath, Mr. David
Heathcoat-Amory, rh Mr. David
Hemming, John
Hendry, Charles
Herbert, Nick
Hoban, Mr. Mark
Hogg, rh Mr. Douglas
Hollobone, Mr. Philip
Horam, Mr. John
Horwood, Martin
Howarth, David
Hunt, Mr. Jeremy
Hunter, Mark
Hurd, Mr. Nick
Jack, rh Mr. Michael
Jackson, Mr. Stewart
Jones, Mr. David
Kawczynski, Daniel
Key, Robert
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Knight, rh Mr. Greg
Kramer, Susan
Laing, Mrs. Eleanor
Lait, Mrs. Jacqui
Lamb, Norman
Lancaster, Mr. Mark
Lansley, Mr. Andrew
Laws, Mr. David
Leech, Mr. John
Letwin, rh Mr. Oliver
Lewis, Dr. Julian
Liddell-Grainger, Mr. Ian
Llwyd, Mr. Elfyn
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
Mackay, rh Mr. Andrew
Maclean, rh David
Main, Anne
Maples, Mr. John
Mates, rh Mr. Michael
McIntosh, Miss Anne
McLoughlin, rh Mr. Patrick
Mercer, Patrick
Miller, Mrs. Maria
Milton, Anne
Moss, Mr. Malcolm

Mulholland, Greg
Mundell, David
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Neill, Robert
Newmark, Mr. Brooks
O'Brien, Mr. Stephen
Öpik, Lembit
Ottaway, Richard
Paice, Mr. James
Penning, Mike
Penrose, John
Prisk, Mr. Mark
Pritchard, Mark
Pugh, Dr. John
Randall, Mr. John
Redwood, rh Mr. John
Reid, Mr. Alan
Rennie, Willie
Rifkind, rh Sir Malcolm
Robathan, Mr. Andrew
Robertson, Hugh
Robertson, Mr. Laurence
Robinson, rh Mr. Peter
Rogerson, Dan
Rosindell, Andrew
Rowen, Paul
Russell, Bob
Sanders, Mr. Adrian
Selous, Andrew
Shapps, Grant
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, David
Simpson, Mr. Keith
Smith, Sir Robert
Spelman, Mrs. Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spring, Mr. Richard
Stanley, rh Sir John
Steen, Mr. Anthony
Streeter, Mr. Gary
Stuart, Mr. Graham
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Mr. Desmond
Swire, Mr. Hugo
Syms, Mr. Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Mr. Ian
Taylor, Matthew
Taylor, Dr. Richard
Thurso, John
Timpson, Mr. Edward
Turner, Mr. Andrew
Tyrie, Mr. Andrew
Vaizey, Mr. Edward
Vara, Mr. Shailesh
Viggers, Sir Peter
Villiers, Mrs. Theresa
Walker, Mr. Charles
Wallace, Mr. Ben
Waterson, Mr. Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Webb, Steve
Whittingdale, Mr. John
Wiggin, Bill
Willetts, Mr. David
Williams, Hywel
Williams, Stephen
Willott, Jenny
Wilson, Mr. Rob
Wilson, Sammy
Winterton, Ann
Winterton, Sir Nicholas
Yeo, Mr. Tim
Young, rh Sir George
Younger-Ross, Richard
Tellers for the Ayes:

James Duddridge and
Jeremy Wright

Abbott, Ms Diane
Ainger, Nick
Alexander, rh Mr. Douglas
Allen, Mr. Graham
Anderson, Mr. David
Anderson, Janet
Armstrong, rh Hilary
Austin, Mr. Ian
Bailey, Mr. Adrian
Baird, Vera
Balls, rh Ed
Banks, Gordon
Barlow, Ms Celia
Battle, rh John
Beckett, rh Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne
Benn, rh Hilary
Benton, Mr. Joe
Berry, Roger
Betts, Mr. Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blackman-Woods, Dr. Roberta
Blears, rh Hazel
Blizzard, Mr. Bob
Blunkett, rh Mr. David
Bradshaw, Mr. Ben
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, Lyn
Brown, rh Mr. Nicholas
Brown, Mr. Russell
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, rh Andy
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
Clapham, Mr. Michael
Clark, Ms Katy
Clarke, rh Mr. Charles
Clarke, rh Mr. Tom
Clelland, Mr. David
Clwyd, rh Ann
Coaker, Mr. Vernon
Coffey, Ann
Cohen, Harry
Connarty, Michael
Cook, Frank
Cooper, Rosie
Corbyn, Jeremy

Cousins, Jim
Creagh, Mary
Cryer, Mrs. Ann
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Mr. Jim
Cunningham, Tony
David, Mr. Wayne
Davidson, Mr. Ian
Davies, Mr. Dai
Dean, Mrs. Janet
Denham, rh Mr. John
Devine, Mr. Jim
Dhanda, Mr. Parmjit
Dismore, Mr. Andrew
Dobson, rh Frank
Donohoe, Mr. Brian H.
Doran, Mr. Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drew, Mr. David
Durkan, Mark
Eagle, Angela
Eagle, Maria
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs. Louise
Ennis, Jeff
Farrelly, Paul
Field, rh Mr. Frank
Flello, Mr. Robert
Flint, rh Caroline
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Mr. Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings and Rye)
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
George, rh Mr. Bruce
Gerrard, Mr. Neil
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Mr. Roger
Goggins, Paul
Goodman, Helen
Griffith, Nia
Griffiths, Nigel
Gwynne, Andrew
Hain, rh Mr. Peter
Hall, Mr. Mike
Hall, Patrick
Hamilton, Mr. David
Hamilton, Mr. Fabian
Hanson, rh Mr. David
Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Harris, Mr. Tom
Healey, John
Hendrick, Mr. Mark
Hepburn, Mr. Stephen
Heppell, Mr. John
Hesford, Stephen
Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia
Heyes, David
Hill, rh Keith
Hodge, rh Margaret
Hodgson, Mrs. Sharon
Hoey, Kate
Hoon, rh Mr. Geoffrey
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, rh Mr. George
Howells, Dr. Kim
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
Jenkins, Mr. Brian
Johnson, rh Alan
Jones, Helen
Jones, Lynne
Jones, Mr. Martyn
Jowell, rh Tessa
Joyce, Mr. Eric
Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keeley, Barbara
Keen, Alan
Keen, Ann
Kelly, rh Ruth
Kemp, Mr. Fraser
Kennedy, rh Jane
Khan, Mr. Sadiq
Kidney, Mr. David
Kilfoyle, Mr. Peter
Knight, Jim
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Laxton, Mr. Bob
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Mr. Ivan
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony
Love, Mr. Andrew
Lucas, Ian
Mackinlay, Andrew
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John
Marris, Rob
Marshall-Andrews, Mr. Robert
Martlew, Mr. Eric
McAvoy, rh Mr. Thomas
McCabe, Steve
McCarthy, Kerry
McCarthy-Fry, Sarah
McDonagh, Siobhain
McFadden, Mr. Pat
McFall, rh John
McGovern, Mr. Jim
McGrady, Mr. Eddie
McGuire, Mrs. Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
Meacher, rh Mr. Michael
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Miliband, rh David
Miliband, rh Edward
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Mr. Austin
Moffat, Anne
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moon, Mrs. Madeleine
Moran, Margaret
Morden, Jessica
Morgan, Julie
Morley, rh Mr. Elliot
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, Mr. George
Mullin, Mr. Chris

Munn, Meg
Murphy, Mr. Denis
Murphy, rh Mr. Paul
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, Mr. Mike
Olner, Mr. Bill
Osborne, Sandra
Owen, Albert
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Pearson, Ian
Plaskitt, Mr. James
Pope, Mr. Greg
Prentice, Bridget
Prentice, Mr. Gordon
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Mr. Ken
Purnell, rh James
Raynsford, rh Mr. Nick
Reed, Mr. Andy
Reid, rh John
Riordan, Mrs. Linda
Robertson, John
Robinson, Mr. Geoffrey
Rooney, Mr. Terry
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Christine
Ryan, rh Joan
Sarwar, Mr. Mohammad
Seabeck, Alison
Sharma, Mr. Virendra
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Mr. Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Simon, Mr. Siôn
Simpson, Alan
Skinner, Mr. Dennis
Smith, rh Mr. Andrew
Smith, Ms Angela C. (Sheffield, Hillsborough)
Smith, Angela E. (Basildon)
Smith, Geraldine
Smith, rh Jacqui
Soulsby, Sir Peter
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, rh Mr. John
Spink, Bob
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Stewart, Ian
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Strang, rh Dr. Gavin
Straw, rh Mr. Jack
Stringer, Graham
Sutcliffe, Mr. Gerry
Tami, Mark
Taylor, Ms Dari
Taylor, David
Thomas, Mr. Gareth
Timms, rh Mr. Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mr. Mark
Touhig, rh Mr. Don
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Mr. Paul
Turner, Dr. Desmond
Turner, Mr. Neil
Vaz, rh Keith
Walley, Joan
Waltho, Lynda
Watson, Mr. Tom
Watts, Mr. Dave
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, rh Mr. Alan
Williams, Mrs. Betty
Wills, Mr. Michael
Wilson, Phil
Winnick, Mr. David
Winterton, rh Ms Rosie
Woodward, rh Mr. Shaun
Woolas, Mr. Phil
Wright, Mr. Anthony
Wright, David
Wright, Mr. Iain
Wright, Dr. Tony
Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Frank Roy and
Ms Diana R. Johnson
Question accordingly negatived.
24 Jun 2008 : Column 257

24 Jun 2008 : Column 258

24 Jun 2008 : Column 259

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

M ain Question, as amended, agreed to.


24 Jun 2008 : Column 260


Motion made, and Question put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118(6) (Delegated Legislation Committees),

Political Parties

Question agreed to.

Mr. Speaker: If it is convenient for the House, I propose to put together motions 4, 5, 6 and 7.

Motion made, and Question put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118(6) (Delegated Legislation Committees),



Question agreed to.

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