Speaking after a statement by John Reid on health funding, Sir George demanded a square deal for the health trusts in his constituency - see below
Sir George Young (North-West Hampshire) (Con): Like my hon. Friend the Member for North-East Cambridgeshire (Mr. Moss), I welcome increased commitment to the NHS from whichever political party it may come. Is the Secretary of State aware that the two PCTs in my constituency are running at a substantial deficit, which is why, in turn, two hospitals were unable to become foundation trusts? Is he concerned about the gap between the rhetoric in Westminster and the reality on the ground in constituencies such as mine, where ill people read of financial recovery plans, ward closures, closed GP lists, fewer NHS dentists and a worse out-of-hours service? Is he not concerned that the increased allocation that he has just announced may simply be used to pay off the accumulated deficits?
Dr. Reid: No, I am not concerned about that. I thank the right hon. Gentleman—I thought that I caught a "Thanks" just at the beginning of his remarks—and I am sure that he will welcome the extra £30 million for the Mid Hampshire PCT, which represents a compounded increase of just under 17 per cent. There is also another £34 million for the North Hampshire PCT, which represents a 17.7 per cent. increase. I do not believe that those increases will be spent on the deficit—I have talked about the difference between forecast and actual deficits—but I ask the right hon. Gentleman to contemplate what the local management in his constituency would have to think about if they knew that instead of getting such an increase, they were facing the equivalent of £24 million being taken away to subsidise the Conservative party's policy of the patient's passport, which would go to about 8 per cent. of his local constituents, and the 92 per cent. of people who depend on the NHS would be £24 million worse off, rather than £64 million better off.