§ Ms Primarolo
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she plans to extend the role of general practitioners as independent advocates for patients to hospital doctors.
§ Dr. Mawhinney
General practitioners already act as advocates of their patients in providing general medical services and referring patients to specialist services if required. GP fund holding builds on this principle by enabling volunteer practices to purchase directly a range of hospital and community services on behalf of their patients. This is proving a great success and our aim is to extend the benefits to as many patients as possible.