Committee (13th Day)
Health and Social Care Bill
Baroness Pitkeathley (Labour)
My Lords, my contribution in support of the amendments is simple and brief: it is to ask that the Minister ensures that we learn the lessons of history and do not repeat the mistakes of the past when it comes to patient involvement. As we know, there is a huge evidence base about the benefits of patient involvement in health outcomes, and I am sure that the mantra of "No decision about me without me" is something that all noble Lords will accept.
While successive Governments have been committed to patient and public involvement, the history of it has not been a happy one. Some of us can go right back to 1974 when CHCs were first set up. Like my noble friend Lord Harris, I believe that this Government are committed to putting patients at the heart of the NHS, but let us look at why the previous attempts to do so have not been successful. In summary, I suggest that the reasons are these: the efforts have not been sufficiently well funded; they have not been seen as sufficiently independent and therefore have had conflicts of interest; they have not had enough status; and there has not been seen to be enough communication between national and local bits of the set-up.
I leave aside the current problems of the CQC, although I agree with noble Lords who have spoken about that, but the very idea of making the new body a sub-committee of anything seems to me to ensure that we are in fact going straight down the route where we have made so many mistakes before. I remind the Committee that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.