Johnson wants a personal NHS

The NHS should provide patients with a more personalised service, says health secretary Alan Johnson.

Speaking at Labour's spring conference in Birmingham last week, he said: 'The days of patients being the passive recipients of a one-size-fits-all service are over.'

He added that a 'more personal' NHS would result from plans for 150 new polyclinics and 100 new GP surgeries in under-doctored areas.

Mr Johnson also reiterated calls for GPs to back extended hours, arguing the change was 'not just for the benefit of commuters'.

'When surgeries in Canary Wharf opened early in the morning, their first patients were not City hot shots,' he said. 'They were hourly-paid manual workers who lost money or their jobs if they didn't go to work.'

But GPC negotiator Dr Peter Holden argued that GPs already provide personalised care.

'Where choice isn't offered it isn't because we don't want to, it's because we don't have the resources,' he said.

'The DoH is kidding themselves into believing Darzi-style centres are the answer to their problems,' added Dr Holden.

jonn.elledge@haymarket.com

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