HC Deb 14 May 1996 vol 277 c759
11. Sir Irvine Patnick

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the interest shown by GPs in the total purchasing initiative. [27991]

Mr. Malone

I was pleased to announce a second wave of 34 total purchasing projects from April this year, bringing the total in England to 85.

Sir Irvine Patnick

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. Does he agree that that shows an overwhelming response to the pilots, including a surgery in Sheffield, and that GPs, whether or not they are fundholders, need to purchase the best possible care for their patients? Have not the Opposition Front-Bench spokesmen shown today that they are totally opposed to fundholding and will abolish it if they are given the opportunity?

Mr. Malone

My hon. Friend is right. It would be a great shame if the benefits that are emerging from the total purchasing pilot in Sheffield were to be lost should ever the Labour party get into office and abolish fundholding, and with it total fundholding, as it has promised.