The committee stage of the Health and Social Care Bill – line by line examination – continued in the House of Lords for a second day on Wednesday 2 November.
The House of Lords debated the contents of the Bill for the first time. Members of the Lords discussed proposals to insert a new first clause to the Bill on day one of committee stage on 26 October.
Amendments discussed included proposals concerning the duties and responsibilities of the Secretary of State for the health service in England.
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.
The first day of committee stage in the House of Lords took place on 26 October.
Two of the largest House of Lords votes for over a decade took place during the second reading – debate on the 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.
Members of the public can attend House of Lords debates and follow proceedings from the public gallery.