Health and Social Care Bill
Simon Burns (The Minister of State, Department of Health; Chelmsford, Conservative)
The answer is, in theory, yes.
May I pick up another point raised by the hon. Gentleman, which was about Monitor giving higher prices to private providers? As the hon. Gentleman should be aware, we have tabled Government amendments to make our position on pricing completely clear. We will reach the relevant clause, which addresses pricing, in due course. I will tread very carefully so as not to go down a cul-de-sac and stray out of order, Mr Hancock. Amendment 192 to clause 104 will ensure that Monitor cannot vary prices according to whether a provider is public or private. We will debate that later, and I am sure the hon. Gentleman will have a considerable amount to say about it, although I hope he studies the amendment carefully so he fully understands it.
For those reasons, I urge my hon. Friends to ensure that clause 56 stands part of the Bill.