MPs debate the role of the private sector in the NHS

17 January 2012

Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Andy Burnham, moved an Opposition day debate in the House of Commons on Monday 16 January on the role of the private sector in the NHS.

The NHS

The motion moved by the Opposition stated that there should be "agreed limits on private sector involvement in the NHS; notes with concern the Government's plans to open up the NHS as a regulated market, increasing private sector involvement in both commissioning and provision of NHS services".

Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley, responded on behalf of the Government. The House divided (voted) and the motion was negatived on division (Ayes: 234, Noes: 321). Watch and read the views expressed by MPs during the debate on Parliament TV and in Commons Hansard.

Health and Social Care Bill

The Health and Social Care Bill was first introduced into the House of Commons on 19 January 2011 and received a second reading on 31 January 2011. The Bill was then considered by a Public Bill Committee from 8 February to 31 March 2011.

On 4 April 2011 the Secretary of State for Health made a statement to the House of Commons announcing that there would be a break in the passage of the Bill. The Government set up an independent group to review the Health and Social Care Bill known as the NHS Future Forum. The group reported its findings and recommendations to the Government on 13 June 2011.

On 21 June the Health and Social Care Bill was re-committed to the Public Bill Committee for further consideration which took place from 28 June to 14 July 2011.

The Bill was considered at report stage for two days on Tuesday 6 and Wednesday 7 September 2011 and third reading took place on Wednesday 7 September.

The Bill was sent to the House of Lords for consideration and is currently waiting report stage.

Keep up to date with all the proceedings and documentation on the Health and Social Care Bill. Also find out how a Bill becomes an Act of Parliament.

Opposition day debates

Opposition days are days allocated in the House of Commons in each session for the discussion of subjects chosen by the Opposition. Seventeen days are at the disposal of the leader of the largest opposition party to decide which topics are debated. Three days are also allocated to the other smaller opposition parties.

The Opposition generally use them to raise questions of policy and administration. Frequently, two separate subjects are debated on an opposition day.

Image: PA 

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