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Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 8:34 pm on 13th October 2003.

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Photo of Baroness Barker Baroness Barker Liberal Democrat 8:34 pm, 13th October 2003

I thank the Minister for her reply, which, as she guessed, is the one that I thought she would give. A requirement to consult, as opposed to a requirement to have an agreement, is qualitatively different in a context in which the resources at stake are not equal between the partners. Given the concentration of resources, first, within PCTs as opposed to social services, and, secondly, within the acute sector as opposed to the community sector, there is a difference in the extent to which consultation and agreement are necessary in order that a local health function is not upset. I have no wish to take the noble Baroness back through our interesting and fascinating discussions on the Community Care (Delayed Discharges etc.) Act, but it is a good example by which to judge.

In putting forward the amendment, perhaps we are tilting the balance in an uneven situation rather more in the right direction. I shall read in the Official Report the comments made by the noble Baroness. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.