Health and Social Care Bill: Report stage day six update

09 March 2012

The House of Lords continued further line by line examination of the Health and Social Care Bill yesterday (Thursday 8 March), in what is thought to be the penultimate day of report stage. Members voted four times on amendments resulting in four government wins

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath (Labour) moved Amendment 220A to Clause 163 to leave out lines 36 to 40 in this section about Monitor's remit in relation to the Secretary of State and foundation trusts.

The debate about Monitor led to the first division (vote) with 212 members voting against and 154 for the change (government win).

The role of the corporate body, Healthwatch England, inspired much debate and the second division followed.

Lord Patel (Crossbench) moved Amendment 223A to Clause 180. He said: '...my amendment is about the independence of Healthwatch England and its ability to get the information about health services that it will need to do its job. Public involvement in health and social care in England has been in a turbulent state since 2003.' A vote resulted in 189 'not content' votes and 165 'contents' (government win).

Baroness Northover (Liberal Democrat) moved amendment 231B, to leave out Clause 181 which sets out 'the arrangements that a local authority must make in relation to local Healthwatch organisations'. This led to another government win (168 to 91 votes).

The final government win came after Lord Beecham (Labour) moved Amendment 238H, after Clause 194, to insert a new clause on the 'functions of Health and Wellbeing Boards as to clinical commissioning groups’ commissioning plans. There were 146 members against and 59 for the change.

See all Lords' division results from report day six.

The report stage will continue with day seven on Tuesday 7 March at 11am. 

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.

Further information

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.

Image: iStockphoto

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