Burnham backs best NHS organisations expanding across England

Health secretary Andy Burnham has hinted that the best NHS trusts will be encouraged to expand geographically.

Mr Burnham: NHS trusts will have a wider geographical footprint
Mr Burnham: NHS trusts will have a wider geographical footprint

Speaking at a King's Fund debate on Labour's health policy on Wednesday, Mr Burnham said health services would inevitably have to change again over the next decade.

He said Labour's pledge to ensure cancer patients are seen within two weeks would be delivered by ‘a major extension of diagnostics and testing capability in primary care'.

Hospital funding will be geared towards patient outcomes and quality rather than volume, and the best organisations will be free to work across a wider area, said Mr Burnham.

‘We want the best organisations in the NHS to work in new ways and across a much wider geographical footprint,' he said, taking 'the best of the NHS to all communities'.

The success of QOF in general practice ‘teaches us a lot about how the future of NHS funding might work', Mr Burnham added.

IPSOS Mori's head of public research Dan Wellings told delegates that latest polling figures point to a hung parliament, with health second among voters' priorities.

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