Patricia Hewitt, March 2004, on politicians :
Speaking to the Guardian, Ms Hewitt admitted there was a serious groundswell of pressure across government to revert to the late-night parliamentary sittings hours ... in remarks that will infuriate some in the parliamentary Labour party, she said: "There are several of us that think going back to the 19th century working hours would be a disaster.
She said reversion to the old hours would be a defeat for the advocates of a decent work-life balance.
"We as a government introduced new laws a year ago to make it easier for parents to balance work and family. If we bottle it now as a parliament we are sending a message to business and the whole economy."
Patricia Hewitt, November 2005, on doctors and nurses :
Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt said she wanted patients to be able to get supermarket-style access to GPs, with surgeries opening seven days a week. The health secretary said some practices were already open from 8am to 8pm, and the move had proved popular with patients.
Ms Hewitt added: "With banks and supermarkets, they are open 24/7.
"But patients are telling us with the health service, you either see your GP or, out-of-hours, go to A&E.
"We need to make sure that GP surgeries become more accessible."
She said one way of providing incentives for doctors to have longer surgery opening hours would be to include the requirement in GPs' contracts.
6 hours ago