Health and Social Care Bill: Third reading

19 March 2012

Members of the Lords consider if the Health and Social Care Bill will progress to third reading and further detailed scrutiny today (Monday 19 March).

Lord Owen (Crossbench) will ask the House to consider the risk register that will be published after a freedom of information request and the government's response to the tribunal's findings before the third reading takes place.

Amendments made so far cover the provision of integrated urgent and emergency care and arrangements following the abolition of the Health Protection Agency. Earl Howe (Conservative), on behalf of the government, has submitted a number of amendments tidying up the bill and includes a definition of the 'Welsh health body' in Clause 185.

Members will continue to submit amendments until 4pm today with a Marshalled List available on Monday morning.

Baroness Thornton (Labour) will ask the House to consider declining the bill to pass back to the Commons after consideration of the marshalled amendments because 'it does not command support' from patients and those expected to make the bill work; it 'will not deliver the promised objectives of genuinely empowering clinicians in the commissioning process and putting patients at the heart of the system; will allow Foundation Trusts to raise up to half their income from private patients; and, despite amendment, still creates an economic regulator and regime which will lead to the fragmentation and marketisation of the National Health Service and threaten its ethos and purpose.'

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.

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

Find out more about watching House of Lords debates.

Image: PA

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