We all understand the importance of the role that GPs play in our NHS. I remind noble Lords that, when the NHS was created, once the state had seized the voluntary hospitals and hospitals from churches, it left GPs independent. It has been left up to them how to run their services. What is important is that we expect all GP services to offer the best-quality care, despite the business model they use.
My Lords, I commend the Minister for congratulating Tony Blair, who, of course, led the best Government of modern times in this country. The Blair Government trebled health spending in real terms—three times the rate of growth under this Government. I encourage the Minister to learn further lessons from Tony Blair, in particular to significantly increase health spending and leave the National Health Service in a better condition than he found it, rather than, as is now happening, in a worse condition.
I pay tribute to the noble Lord on his contributions to the Blair-Brown documentary, which I am sure a number of noble Lords enjoyed watching and learning from. It is important that we learn the right lessons from whichever political party, so when Tony Blair, a former Labour Prime Minister, says that we should encourage the private sector to be more involved in partnership with the public sector, we will take that advice.