Speaking after the announcement of a record deficit for NHS trusts, Sir George asked the Minister if she would stop showering local managers with initiatives, and allow a period of stability.
See Hansard extract below:
Sir George Young (North-West Hampshire) (Con): I welcome the increased investment in the NHS, but is not the introduction of practice-based commissioning, payment by results, patient choice, the merger of the primary care trusts, the abolition of the strategic health authorities, the roll-out of foundation trusts and the introduction of a new IT system simply imposing too much change at the same time? The people trying to manage those changes are currently having to bid for their own jobs. Does not the NHS really need a period of stability and fewer initiatives from Whitehall?
Ms Hewitt: When the Minister of State, Department of Health, my hon. Friend the Member for Leigh (Andy Burnham) recently announced, in my unavoidable absence, changes to the primary care trusts, they were widely welcomed. I know from my own city of Leicester that people have felt for some time that it was wrong and unnecessary to have two PCTs when one PCT, coterminous with social services, could do even better than the existing organisations. I believe that those changes were necessary. The right hon. Gentleman mentioned practice-based commissioning, and I am delighted that already a number of GP practices are signing up to it. That work will continue because it provides a way of ensuring that we can deliver better care more conveniently for patients and closer to home. We want to provide better care and better value for money as well.