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The PCT is committed to making sure that everyone who wants NHS treatment is able to get it, and its current and future plans will provide services for around 33,800 additional patients. The PCT has received an additional £2.5 million—an 11 per cent. increase—in its dental allocation. That is a pretty good increase. The
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hon. Gentleman is right to say that we are looking forward to the report of Professor Jimmy Steele in the not-too-distant future. I hope that as a result of that we will see even further improvements in how dentistry is dealt with.

Recent new dentistry investments include the appointment of three new dentists in Truro and one in Falmouth in July and August 2008, and the opening of a new practice in Launceston with capacity for 5,000 patients in February 2009. March saw another tranche of new practices opened, providing services for 7,000 new patients in Newquay, 2,000 in Bodmin and 4,500 in Torpoint. In April, a new practice opened in St. Austell with capacity for 7,000 patients. I understand that it will be officially opened by the chief dental officer, Barry Cockcroft, later this month. The PCT is continuing that programme of expansion, and over the next 12 months it will provide dental services for an additional 8,160 patients across Liskeard, Tregony, St. Ives, Bodmin, Threemilestone and Truro. That represents a fair amount of work and investment being put into the area.

The hon. Member for North Cornwall made a couple of points that I wish to engage him on. The first was about hospital transport, and he was absolutely right about rural areas. I represent an area that has a large rural hinterland, and it is enormously important that people can get access to transport to a hospital. We need to work harder to ensure that PCTs recognise the importance of ensuring that transport arrangements are in place, particularly when services are located in tertiary and high-skill hospitals, as is often safer. The distance involved needs to be taken into account to ensure that we do not increase risk. It is all very well to say that a patient is safer when they get to such a hospital, but getting them there is also a problem, particularly if access to transport is not easy. It is important that PCTs recognise that they need to take serious account of transport in rural areas.

The hon. Gentleman also mentioned car parking, and he made the fair point that patients and primarily visitors complain that they have to pay for parking when they go to a hospital. They ask, “Isn’t this supposed to be a free NHS?” I, too, have had constituents come and complain to me, asking, “Why are we paying for car park charges in the local hospital?” As he said, they get very annoyed, particularly if they are making long visits, perhaps to a child who has to stay in for a long time.

The hon. Gentleman’s point was fair, and there is a reasonable debate to be had about the matter, but I would respond that there is still a choice to be made on budgets. He and others have talked about budget limitations, and there will always be such limitations. We all know that NHS inflation is a particular problem in relation to the costs of medicine. There will therefore always be pressures on NHS budgets, despite the fact that we have tripled the amount of money going in.

There will always be decisions to be made, and it is important that they are made locally. PCTs must recognise that there is a choice, and that they are better off spending money on patient care than on car parks. There is a high cost to car parks through building, maintenance, servicing, safeguarding, insurance and so on. In principle, it is better that the funding goes to patient care. However, there is always a balance to be struck, and the costs that visitors and patients pay
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should be reasonable, with account taken of the pressures on people who have to go to hospitals regularly. The charging of very large sums to people who have to visit on a daily basis for a prolonged period because of their circumstances is often unfair. PCTs have to examine that in the context of the pressures on a local hospital.

Dan Rogerson: I would not expect the Minister to have answers about hospital transport straight away. Primary care trusts operate in a framework of Government policy, and that is fine because we have a national health service, but it means that they tend to concentrate on aspects that they have been asked to deliver as priorities. Transport to health services may not currently be at the top of the Government’s agenda, and all I ask is that the Government take it into account in ongoing reviews and, if they find good models, to ensure that best practice is shared. It is important to get it right because, although those who need in-depth treatment or surgery will get themselves to hospital somehow, those with something that is not life-threatening may, like the lady in Camelford, choose not to go. That is part of the problem that prevents good outcomes.

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Mr. O'Brien: The hon. Gentleman makes a fair point. When we examine access to health care in future, we need to bear in mind transport and transport costs for patients. I agree that, when we review NHS funding and priorities, access and transport should be included. Not only transport in rural areas but car parking and the problems with it should be part of the equation.

I hope that the debate has gone at least some way towards reassuring the hon. Member for St. Ives that funding for Cornwall and Isles of Scilly PCT has not been eroded by the Government with deliberate intent. On the contrary, we want more funding to go to Cornwall. We must ensure that we balance the priorities in the NHS budget, but the hon. Gentleman made his point fairly and I hope that I responded fairly. Investment will continue in Cornwall. The underfunding—which I do not dispute—will be tackled and services in Cornwall will continue to develop in new and innovative ways, in line with people’s expectations of the NHS in the 21st century. The future for Cornwall NHS looks better for the changes in the funding formula.

Question put and agreed to.

6.47 pm

House adjourned.

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Deferred Division

External service

The House divided: Ayes 305, Noes 160.
Division No. 151]


Abbott, Ms Diane
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, rh Mr. Bob
Alexander, Danny
Alexander, rh Mr. Douglas
Allen, Mr. Graham
Anderson, Mr. David
Anderson, Janet
Armstrong, rh Hilary
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, Mr. Ian
Bailey, Mr. Adrian
Baird, Vera
Baker, Norman
Balls, rh Ed
Banks, Gordon
Barron, rh Mr. Kevin
Beckett, rh Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne
Beith, rh Sir Alan
Bell, Sir Stuart
Benn, rh Hilary
Benton, Mr. Joe
Berry, Roger
Betts, Mr. Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blizzard, Mr. Bob
Blunkett, rh Mr. David
Borrow, Mr. David S.
Brake, Tom
Breed, Mr. Colin
Brennan, Kevin
Brooke, Annette
Brown, Lyn
Brown, rh Mr. Nicholas
Brown, Mr. Russell
Browne, rh Des
Browne, Mr. Jeremy
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burnham, rh Andy
Burstow, Mr. Paul
Butler, Ms Dawn
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Caborn, rh Mr. Richard
Campbell, Mr. Alan
Carmichael, Mr. Alistair
Caton, Mr. Martin
Cawsey, Mr. Ian
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben
Clapham, Mr. Michael
Clark, Paul
Clarke, rh Mr. Charles
Clarke, rh Mr. Tom
Clegg, rh Mr. Nick
Clelland, Mr. David
Clwyd, rh Ann
Coaker, Mr. Vernon
Coffey, Ann
Connarty, Michael
Cook, Frank
Cooper, rh Yvette
Cousins, Jim
Crausby, Mr. David
Creagh, Mary
Cryer, Mrs. Ann
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Mr. Jim
Cunningham, Tony
Darling, rh Mr. Alistair
Davey, Mr. Edward
David, Mr. Wayne
Davidson, Mr. Ian
Davies, Mr. Quentin
Dean, Mrs. Janet
Denham, rh Mr. John
Dhanda, Mr. Parmjit
Dobbin, Jim
Donohoe, Mr. Brian H.
Doran, Mr. Frank
Dowd, Jim
Durkan, Mark
Eagle, Angela
Eagle, Maria
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs. Louise
Engel, Natascha
Farrelly, Paul
Farron, Tim
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flello, Mr. Robert
Flint, rh Caroline
Flynn, Paul
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Mr. Don
Foster, Mr. Michael (Worcester)
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
Gerrard, Mr. Neil
Gidley, Sandra
Gilroy, Linda
Goggins, rh Paul
Goldsworthy, Julia
Goodman, Helen
Griffith, Nia
Griffiths, Nigel
Gwynne, Andrew
Hain, rh Mr. Peter
Hall, Mr. Mike
Hall, Patrick
Hamilton, Mr. David

Hamilton, Mr. Fabian
Hancock, Mr. Mike
Hanson, rh Mr. David
Harris, Dr. Evan
Harvey, Nick
Havard, Mr. Dai
Healey, rh John
Heath, Mr. David
Hemming, John
Hendrick, Mr. Mark
Heppell, Mr. John
Hesford, Stephen
Heyes, David
Hill, rh Keith
Hodgson, Mrs. Sharon
Holmes, Paul
Hoon, rh Mr. Geoffrey
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, David
Howarth, rh Mr. George
Howells, rh Dr. Kim
Hoyle, Mr. Lindsay
Hughes, rh Beverley
Hughes, Simon
Humble, Mrs. Joan
Hunter, Mark
Hutton, rh Mr. John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Illsley, Mr. Eric
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jenkins, Mr. Brian
Johnson, rh Alan
Johnson, Ms Diana R.
Jones, Helen
Jones, Mr. Kevan
Jones, Lynne
Jowell, rh Tessa
Joyce, Mr. Eric
Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald
Keeley, Barbara
Keen, Ann
Keetch, Mr. Paul
Kelly, rh Ruth
Khan, rh Mr. Sadiq
Kidney, Mr. David
Knight, rh Jim
Kramer, Susan
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Laws, Mr. David
Laxton, Mr. Bob
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Levitt, Tom
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony
Llwyd, Mr. Elfyn
Love, Mr. Andrew
Lucas, Ian
Mackinlay, Andrew
Mactaggart, Fiona
Malik, Mr. Shahid
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John
Marsden, Mr. Gordon
Martlew, Mr. Eric
Mason, John
McAvoy, rh Mr. Thomas
McCabe, Steve
McCafferty, Chris
McCarthy, Kerry
McCarthy-Fry, Sarah
McDonnell, Dr. Alasdair
McDonnell, John
McFadden, rh Mr. Pat
McFall, rh John
McGrady, Mr. Eddie
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
McNulty, rh Mr. Tony
Meale, Mr. Alan
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Miliband, rh David
Miliband, rh Edward
Miller, Andrew
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moore, Mr. Michael
Morgan, Julie
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, Mr. George
Mulholland, Greg
Mullin, Mr. Chris
Munn, Meg
Murphy, rh Mr. Paul
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, rh Mr. Mike
O'Hara, Mr. Edward
Oaten, Mr. Mark
Olner, Mr. Bill
Öpik, Lembit
Osborne, Sandra
Pearson, Ian
Plaskitt, Mr. James
Pope, Mr. Greg
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Mr. Gordon
Price, Adam
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Pugh, Dr. John
Purchase, Mr. Ken
Reed, Mr. Andy
Reed, Mr. Jamie
Reid, Mr. Alan
Rennie, Willie
Riordan, Mrs. Linda
Robertson, Angus
Robertson, John
Robinson, Mr. Geoffrey
Rogerson, Dan
Rooney, Mr. Terry
Rowen, Paul
Roy, Mr. Frank
Roy, Lindsay
Ruane, Chris
Russell, Bob
Russell, Christine
Salter, Martin
Sanders, Mr. Adrian
Sarwar, Mr. Mohammad
Seabeck, Alison
Sheerman, Mr. Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Simon, Mr. Siôn
Skinner, Mr. Dennis
Smith, rh Mr. Andrew
Smith, Ms Angela C. (Sheffield, Hillsborough)
Smith, Geraldine
Smith, rh Jacqui

Smith, Sir Robert
Snelgrove, Anne
Soulsby, Sir Peter
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, rh Mr. John
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Stewart, Ian
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Strang, rh Dr. Gavin
Straw, rh Mr. Jack
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Mr. Gerry
Swinson, Jo
Tami, Mark
Taylor, David
Thornberry, Emily
Timms, rh Mr. Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mr. Mark
Touhig, rh Mr. Don
Trickett, Jon
Ussher, Kitty
Vaz, rh Keith
Walley, Joan
Waltho, Lynda
Ward, Claire
Wareing, Mr. Robert N.
Watts, Mr. Dave
Webb, Steve
Weir, Mr. Mike
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, rh Malcolm
Williams, rh Mr. Alan
Williams, Mr. Roger
Williams, Stephen
Willis, Mr. Phil
Willott, Jenny
Wills, rh Mr. Michael
Wilson, Phil
Winnick, Mr. David
Winterton, rh Ms Rosie
Wishart, Pete
Woodward, rh Mr. Shaun
Woolas, Mr. Phil
Wright, Mr. Anthony
Wright, David
Wright, Dr. Tony
Wyatt, Derek

Ainsworth, Mr. Peter
Amess, Mr. David
Ancram, rh Mr. Michael
Arbuthnot, rh Mr. James
Atkinson, Mr. Peter
Baldry, Tony
Barker, Gregory
Baron, Mr. John
Benyon, Mr. Richard
Beresford, Sir Paul
Binley, Mr. Brian
Blunt, Mr. Crispin
Bone, Mr. Peter
Boswell, Mr. Tim
Bottomley, Peter
Brady, Mr. Graham
Brazier, Mr. Julian
Brokenshire, James
Burns, Mr. Simon
Burrowes, Mr. David
Burt, Alistair
Butterfill, Sir John
Cameron, rh Mr. David
Campbell, Mr. Gregory
Carswell, Mr. Douglas
Cash, Mr. William
Chope, Mr. Christopher
Clappison, Mr. James
Clark, Greg
Clarke, rh Mr. Kenneth
Clifton-Brown, Mr. Geoffrey
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cox, Mr. Geoffrey
Crabb, Mr. Stephen
Curry, rh Mr. David
Davies, Mr. Dai
Davies, David T.C. (Monmouth)
Djanogly, Mr. Jonathan
Dodds, Mr. Nigel
Dorries, Nadine
Drew, Mr. David
Duncan Smith, rh Mr. Iain
Evans, Mr. Nigel
Evennett, Mr. David
Fabricant, Michael
Field, Mr. Mark
Fraser, Christopher
Gale, Mr. Roger
Garnier, Mr. Edward
Gauke, Mr. David
Gillan, Mrs. Cheryl
Goodwill, Mr. Robert
Gray, Mr. James
Green, Damian
Greening, Justine
Greenway, Mr. John
Grieve, Mr. Dominic

Hague, rh Mr. William
Hammond, Stephen
Hands, Mr. Greg
Harper, Mr. Mark
Hayes, Mr. John
Heald, Mr. Oliver
Heathcoat-Amory, rh Mr. David
Hendry, Charles
Herbert, Nick
Hoban, Mr. Mark
Hollobone, Mr. Philip
Holloway, Mr. Adam
Howard, rh Mr. Michael
Howarth, Mr. Gerald
Howell, John
Hunt, Mr. Jeremy
Hurd, Mr. Nick
Jack, rh Mr. Michael
Jackson, Mr. Stewart
Kawczynski, Daniel
Key, Robert
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Knight, rh Mr. Greg
Lait, Mrs. Jacqui
Lancaster, Mr. Mark
Leigh, Mr. Edward
Letwin, rh Mr. Oliver
Lewis, Dr. Julian
Liddell-Grainger, Mr. Ian
Lidington, Mr. David
Lilley, rh Mr. Peter
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
Mackay, rh Mr. Andrew
Maclean, rh David
Main, Anne
Mates, rh Mr. Michael
May, rh Mrs. Theresa
McCrea, Dr. William
McIntosh, Miss Anne
McLoughlin, rh Mr. Patrick
Mercer, Patrick
Miller, Mrs. Maria
Milton, Anne
Mitchell, Mr. Andrew
Moss, Mr. Malcolm
Mundell, David
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Neill, Robert
Newmark, Mr. Brooks
Osborne, Mr. George
Ottaway, Richard
Paice, Mr. James
Paterson, Mr. Owen
Penning, Mike
Penrose, John
Pickles, Mr. Eric
Prisk, Mr. Mark
Randall, Mr. John
Redwood, rh Mr. John
Rifkind, rh Sir Malcolm
Robathan, Mr. Andrew
Robertson, Hugh
Robertson, Mr. Laurence
Robinson, Mrs. Iris
Robinson, rh Mr. Peter
Rosindell, Andrew
Scott, Mr. Lee
Selous, Andrew
Shapps, Grant
Simpson, David
Simpson, Mr. Keith
Soames, Mr. Nicholas
Spelman, Mrs. Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spink, Bob
Spring, Mr. Richard
Stanley, rh Sir John
Streeter, Mr. Gary
Stuart, Mr. Graham
Swayne, Mr. Desmond
Swire, Mr. Hugo
Syms, Mr. Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
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
Wiggin, Bill
Willetts, Mr. David
Wilson, Mr. Rob
Wilson, Sammy
Winterton, Ann
Winterton, Sir Nicholas
Yeo, Mr. Tim
Young, rh Sir George
Question accordingly agreed to.
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