The Prime Minister is calling for the NHS to transform into a "wellbeing" service, and says more needs to be done to help people lead healthy lives and avoid illness.
Speaking on a surprise visit to NHS staff and patients in Birmingham, Gordon Brown said GPs and hospital services must be more accessible.
He added he has identified three main areas of concern: how to get better access to health services, how to ensure quality of services, and what can be done to help people lead healthier lives to stop illness.
He told the assembled audience: "Everybody wants the NHS to be more personal - not to treat people as numbers, but as individuals.
"We need to build heathcare around the needs of the family and the individual.
"We have got to do more on cleanliness, more on safety and more on prevention, so that we have not merely a National Health Service, but a national wellbeing service."
The PM said he realises that illness does not affect people on a nine-to-five basis, and working people may need to see their GP in the evenings or at weekends.
"Improved access to GPs and hospital services will be one of the priorities in the next months.
"We need a whole range of services for people who work late," he added.
Copyright © PA Business 2007
Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)
"Having enough appointments required has always been a problem that will get increasing worse when patients are informed by this government they can see a GP of their choice, at any time, any place whenever they want. Just when are the GPs supposed to do the home visits for seriously ill patients, plus also go home to their own families to eat and sleep?" – Jenny Gordon, Stockport
"I think GPs are being battered from all sides, especially in our town of Haverhill, Suffolk. The LMC are still negotiating Suffolk's new PMS contract with the PCT. But using the Car Hill formula, the three GP surgeries in the town are having our PMS budgets cut by over £300,000. So how we are expected to improve access when we are going to lose frontline staff to be able to find the amount of money the PCT are taking from us, is beyond me" – Ann Sisson, Suffolk
"There is a 24/7 access to GP services. It is called OOH. Lies are being spread here. There is a need to publicise OOH locally over the whole country" - Name and address supplied
"Pregnant women have to be allowed time off for appointments. Why not make it so for all employees?" - Name and address supplied
"GPs use to be family doctors who knew their patients. I think the current system is working aganist that" - Name and address supplied