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New Clause 6 — Secretary of State’s response to a section 65 regulator’s report on an NHS foundation trust

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury – in the House of Commons at 5:45 pm on 11th March 2014.

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Photo of Daniel Poulter Daniel Poulter The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health 5:45 pm, 11th March 2014

I must make progress. I want to address the points made by my right hon. Friend Paul Burstow. I will not give way until I have made better progress. On the point made by the right hon. Gentleman—and this is important—when he put forward the legislation on the TSA, he envisaged potentially turning it into a hospital closure clause. In 2009, on Second Reading of the Health Bill, he said:

“We believe these measures will provide protection against the possibility of NHS providers continuing indefinitely.”—[Hansard, 8 June 2009; Vol. 493, c. 544.]

That would suggest that the right hon. Gentleman thought that whole organisations might be shut down or closed as a result of the TSA regime. We do not believe that that is the case. We recognise that trusts, when they severely fail, may have to change the services they deliver. We want to protect trusts from the closure that the right hon. Gentleman envisaged in his remarks. His own words indicate that Labour had a hospital closure clause in the TSA regime. The Government, however, are making it clear that this is about service change in the interest of patients when all other avenues have been exhausted, which is a good thing.

Let me turn now to new clause 16, tabled by my right hon. Friend Andrew George and other hon. Members.