Health Questions to Jeremy Hunt – 10/06/2014
Last October the Secretary of State said that Hammersmith accident and emergency would be closed when it was safe to do so. Imperial proposes to close it on 10 September, when on its own admission there is insufficient capacity at St Mary’s and it is not safe to do so. Will he keep his promise and ensure that Hammersmith A and E does not close, especially when there is not sufficient capacity in the system?
I keep my promises, but may I point out to the hon. Gentleman that the way in which he has campaigned on those issues has been totally irresponsible? He put out leaflets in the local election campaign saying that Charing Cross hospital would be demolished. He failed to mention that it was going to be rebuilt as a brand-new hospital with an A and E department. I hope that he will not be invited to it when it is reopened unless he apologises to his constituents for the way he has presented this issue.
Will the Minister look at the decision by clinical commissioning groups in north-west London to move funding away-contrary to what NHS England has proposed-from GP practices and primary care in deprived areas such as Hammersmith to areas that have much better health outcomes?
I do not believe that that is the case. In looking at the changes, we need to factor in the point that the minimum practice income guarantee, which was a historical payment and not based on patient need or patient demand, is being phased out in order to achieve a more equitable solution. As a result, we can see that the global sum payments to GPs have risen from £66.25 per patient in 2013-14 to £73.56 per patient in 2014-15. Clearly, the global sum payment to GPs per patient has increased, which is a good thing for patients and the equitability of services.