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.
My Lords, I have great respect for GPs, but with general practices paid for the number of patients registered with the practice, profit-driven services might carry the risk of some GPs choosing to register younger and fitter patients, who will need to be seen less often than older patients. Would the Minister really be comfortable if that situation played out?
I am sure that noble Lords agree that it is appropriate that GPs register as many patients as they are able to see, and that their patients, whatever their needs, can access our great system of healthcare in this country. I would indeed be concerned if there were barriers to accessing GP services.