The line by line examination of the Health and Social Care Bill continued on Wednesday 7 December.
The House of Lords explored a number of clauses on setting up a research authority to work with various bodies to co-ordinate health research.
Clauses 49, 50, 53 and 54 were debated. Clause 49 explored the Secretary of State’s duty to keep health service functions under review. Following this, Members debated Clause 50, which looks at inserting a new section 247C into the NHS Act. This will enable the Secretary of State to publish an annual report relating to the performance of the comprehensive health service in England for Parliament.
Committee stage continues on 13 December when further amendments are on the agenda.
About the Bill
The Health and Social Care Bill, which aims to modernise the NHS:
- changes how NHS care is commissioned through the greater involvement of clinicians and a new NHS Commissioning Board
- introduces new mechanisms to improve accountability
- empowers patients to increase their voice and involvement in their care
- gives NHS providers new freedoms to improve quality of care
- establishes a provider regulator to promote efficiency.
In addition, the Bill will underpin the creation of Public Health England, a new integrated national public health organisation, which will support the provision of local services and take forward measures to reform health public bodies.
Committee stage: line by line examination
The Bill is scheduled to receive 14 days of committee stage scrutiny in the House of Lords.
Second reading: main debate on the Bill
Two of the largest House of Lords votes for over a decade took place during the second reading – debate on the main principles of the Bill – which took place over two days with 102 Members of the Lords taking part – on 12 and 13 October.
Detailed line by line examination of the separate parts (clauses and schedules) of the Bill takes place during committee stage. Any Member of the Lords can table amendments to make changes to the Bill.
Amendments can allow the House of Lords to make revisions to Government Bills (plans for laws). Members of the Lords, often with specialist knowledge or experience of the subject, submit amendments to explore possible effects of the planned law and the policy that lies behind it.