HC Deb 21 July 2000 vol 354 c367W
Mr. Caton

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the impact on waiting lists if consultants were contractually required to see NHS patients on three days a week as a minimum. [131462]

Mr. Denham

We are determined to reduce waiting lists and times for all patients. As part of the National Plan for the National Health Service, the Patient Care: Speed of Access Modernisation Action Team has been looking at improving patients' access to NHS services, including the reduction of waiting lists and times.

Any NHS consultant who carries out private work is expected to devote substantially the whole of their professional time to their NHS work. It is for employers and employees to agree the balance between private and NHS work and for employers to take appropriate action if individual consultants do not meet their contractual commitments. Their responsibilities for the clinical care of their NHS patients must come first.