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'Personalise NHS' says Johnson

3rd March 2008

Alan Johnson has stated his intention of turning the NHS into more of a "personalised" service.

alanjohnson1The health secretary spoke to a Labour conference in Birmingham and said that patients should be given more choice within the service. He added that he wanted GP surgeries to offer extended opening times.

Mr Johnson said doctors should agree to open extended hours as it would help people who worked for low salaries to see their doctors.

He said that when surgeries in Canary Wharf opened early: "their first patients were not City hot shots, but hourly-paid manual workers who lost money, or worse their jobs, if they didn't go to work."

An average surgery treating 6,000 patients will offer patients three more hours each week.

Mr Johnson said: "The days of patients being the passive recipients of one-size-fits-all service are over."

He added that the government would "focus on adult social care" and will have to tackle problems including an overweight population and greater numbers of elderly people.

Mr Johnson said they wanted to ensure elderly married couples were able to live together in care homes.

Harriet Harman has also spoken about plans which would let people who care for elderly relatives to work and not lose their benefits. At present if a carer earns over £95 per week then they forfeit their £45 carers' allowance.

She told delegates that the government would support families where, for example, a woman looks after her mother as well as her children.

 


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