Health and Social Care Bill
Simon Burns (The Minister of State, Department of Health; Chelmsford, Conservative)
On this occasion, and I alluded to this in our previous debate this morning, I wish that the clause does not stand part of the Bill. We have already discussed Government amendments 504 to 508 and new clauses 10, 11 and 14, and we will discuss Government amendments 510 to 515 and new clauses 12 and 13 shortly. They make a series of changes that will ensure that the process of designating services operates effectively and that there is greater transparency on the way in which Monitor makes decisions in relation to the designation of services.
Clause 70 will be replaced by five more comprehensive clauses on complaints and appeals, namely new clauses 10 to 14, which clarify and extend the rights of providers and potential providers to appeal to the first-tier tribunal should they believe that Monitor’s decision on the original designation request or on an application for removal of designation was based on an error of fact, or was wrong in law or unreasonable. Therefore, clause 70 is no longer needed, and I urge my hon. Friends to join me in voting against it standing part of the Bill if the Opposition decide to press it to a vote. I must say that, if they do press it to a vote, it would be a supreme irony.