NHS Future Forum: Is the Government listening? Lords debate outlines concerns on Health and Social Care Bill

16 September 2011

The House of Lords debated the NHS Future Forum’s recommendations on the Health and Social Care Bill on Thursday 15 September

The NHS Future Forum is a group of 45 clinicians, patient and voluntary sector representatives, frontline staff and others involved in health. It was launched on 6 April as part of the Government’s listening exercise on the Health and Social Care Bill. It has published a series of recommendations on the Health and Social Care Bill and states on its website that its members have attended over 200 events, met with over 6,700 people face to face, received email contributions from over 25,000 people and other contributions from a further 4,000.

Members of the Lords who took part in the debate

Use the links to watch/listen to their contributions.

Baroness Wheeler (Labour), opened the debate. Other Members who spoke included:

Baroness Donaghy (Labour), Lord Saywer (Labour), Baroness Pitkeathley (Labour) and Baroness Jolly (Liberal Democrat) also contributed to the debate.

Earl Howe responded on behalf of the Government.

Further information

The Health and Social Care Bill proposes to create an independent NHS Board, promote patient choice, and to reduce NHS administration costs.

Key areas

  • establishes an independent NHS Board to allocate resources and provide commissioning guidance
  • increases GPs’ powers to commission services on behalf of their patients
  • strengthens the role of the Care Quality Commission
    develops Monitor, the body that currently regulates NHS foundation trusts, into an economic regulator to oversee aspects of access and competition in the NHS
  • cuts the number of health bodies to help meet the Government's commitment to cut NHS administration costs by a third, including abolishing Primary Care Trusts and Strategic Health Authorities.

The Bill, which has completed its Commons stages, had its first reading in the House of Lords on Thursday 8 September and will have its second reading – a general debate on the principles of the Bill – on Monday 10 September. 

Image: Press Association

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