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Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 10:30 pm on 13th October 2003.

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Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe Conservative 10:30 pm, 13th October 2003

I am far more concerned that, if one takes this clause literally, we are likely to have regulation with a heavy rather than a light touch. I am not against default powers or the thought of the regulator intervening where there is a clear need for him to do so. But this clause seems to suggest that he will be highly prescriptive.

I take some comfort from what the Minister said about the selective nature of the use of the powers. Even so, I remain uneasy. There are concerns about the wider health needs across the health service as a whole but, frankly, I doubt whether powers as extensive as this are needed to protect those needs. Nevertheless, I shall read carefully what the Minister said. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.