HC Deb 31 October 1995 vol 265 c84
3. Mr. Merchant

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many general practitioner fundholding practices there are currently in Greater London. [38213]

The Minister for Health (Mr. Gerald Malone)

Three hundred and twenty-five general practitioners' practices in Greater London are currently fundholders, serving over a quarter of the population. This is due to rise to 578 practices serving 40 per cent. of the population from next April.

Mr. Merchant

Is my hon. Friend aware of the pioneering work in fundholding being carried out by Elm House surgery in my constituency? Is he aware of the popularity of that work with patients? Does that popularity partly explain the dramatic leap in the number of applications for fundholding status in London this summer?

Mr. Malone

I am aware of the practice to which my hon. Friend refers, and I met a number of the practitioners involved when I visited Beckenham hospital in my hon. Friend's constituency some time ago. We want such services to be extended throughout London—in the teeth, sadly, of opposition from Labour.

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