Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:45 am on 16th October 2003.

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Photo of Baroness Andrews Baroness Andrews Government Whip, Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip) 11:45 am, 16th October 2003

One of the points that I did not make in response to the noble Baroness, Lady Cumberlege, was that the regulator can also protect specialist services essential to the NHS, because he can require the provision of certain services under Clause 14. That extra security is built in.

In response to the very detailed question about information flow, I understand that the SHA cannot require the trust to provide information, for the reasons that I explained. But the sort of information coming forward from the trust at present, which informs its commissioning process and delivery, will obtain and continue to flow in the same way. I do not share the noble Baroness's concerns about an information gap. But, if it would help, I will write to her to try to spell out, for the purposes of the debate and for other Members of the Committee, how we see the process working. As the noble Baroness must know, the contracts between the trusts and commissioners are quite detailed. The changing nature of the contract may involve more information being exchanged than at present. We will certainly write to noble Lords and set that out in a little more detail.