Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 10:45 pm on 13th October 2003.

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Photo of Baroness Finlay of Llandaff Baroness Finlay of Llandaff Crossbench 10:45 pm, 13th October 2003

I, too, rise to speak in support of the amendment. I have already declared my interest as vice-dean of a medical school. Tomorrow I shall be attending the Council of Heads of Medical Schools at a meeting in Belfast. The issue of teaching and research is of fundamental concern to all medical schools across the UK.

Those who have already spoken in the debate have emphasised most eloquently the important contribution that teaching and research make to the advancement of our standards of care, as well as to that of the care that patients receive. The noble Lord, Lord Turnberg, was absolutely correct to say that an ethos supporting teaching and research must filter through the whole of an NHS organisation—the whole trust—from the top to every single layer.

There are enough hurdles and difficulties already in place for those who are trying to pursue high-quality research without trying to do so in an environment that they perceive as becoming increasingly closed to their pursuing the advancement of science for the welfare of the people of this nation. If we do not invest in teaching and research we will pay and pay dearly in years to come.