The House of Lords continued detailed line by line examination of the Health and Social Care Bill yesterday (Monday 27 February) with two government wins.
Members of the House of Lords started the session by looking at amendments to Clause 19. Lord Hunt of Kings Heath (Labour) suggested Amendment 38A to ensure proper governance of the clinical commissioning groups. He explained that they will be given a large amount of money, freedom to commission services and freedom to decide when and how competition should be used. Members of the House voted 259 to 186 against the amendment.
The second vote of the evening followed. Lord Warner (Labour) put forward Amendment 38C to include a new clause after Clause 19. The additional clause aimed to clarify integration between health and social care and duties of the NHS Commissioning Board and clinical commissioning groups. Members of the House voted 227 to 206 against the amendment resulting in a second government win.
A number of amendments suggested for Clause 22 looked at the NHS Commissioning Board's duties. Amendment 49 which forced the Board or Secretary of State to publish a digest of expenditure and performance was not moved. Amendments 49A and 50 were withdrawn and are expected to be discussed during the next stage (Third Reading).
The House adjourned after Amendment 70, addressing Clause 22, which was not moved.
Health and Social Care Bill: 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.
Catch up on the Health and Social Care Bill so far
The House of Lords Constitution Committee report
The Constitution Committee published a follow-up report calling for changes to the Health and Social Care Bill to ensure that ministerial responsibility to Parliament and legal accountability for the NHS are not diluted.
What is the report stage?
Report stage in the chamber gives all members of the Lords further opportunity to consider all amendments (proposals for change) to a bill. It usually starts at least 14 days after committee stage. It can be spread over several days (but usually fewer days than at committee stage).
Before report stage takes place
- The day before report stage starts, amendments are published in a Marshalled List – in which all the amendments are placed in order.
- On the day, amendments on related subjects are grouped together and a list (“groupings of amendments”) is published.
What happens at report stage?
- Detailed line by line examination of the bill continues.
- Votes can take place and any member can take part.
After report stage - third reading
- If the bill is amended it is reprinted to include all the agreed amendments.
- The bill moves to third reading for the final chance for the Lords to debate and amend the bill.
- More about third reading.
Detailed line by line examination of the separate parts (clauses and schedules) of a bill takes place during report stage.
Find out more about watching House of Lords debates.