Cross-border Hospital Services

Mr Peter Hain (Neath) (Lab): When I was Secretary of State, I was always keen to praise success in Wales. Would the Secretary of State care to congratulate the Welsh NHS on having a nurse-to-patient ratio that is a fifth higher than that of England, where his Government have cut the number of nurses by 7,000? Will he also congratulate the Welsh Government on recruiting doctors at a much faster rate than in England?

Mr Jones: I am always keen and ready to give praise where praise is due. Certainly, Welsh clinicians and nurses do a wonderful job. The fact remains, however, that outcomes in Wales are significantly worse than they are in England, which, to be frank, is something about which the right hon. Gentleman should join me in expressing concern. I also suggest that he have a word with his friend the Welsh Minister for Health and suggest to him that he might wish to take on board the recommendations of Professor Keogh.