Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:15 pm on 6th November 2003.

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Photo of Baroness Carnegy of Lour Baroness Carnegy of Lour Conservative 1:15 pm, 6th November 2003

My Lords, I ask the noble Lord particularly about Amendment No. 68 and the register of interests of members of the board of governors. I know that there has been a great cry for this in another place. I think that noble Lords on the Liberal Democrat Benches asked for it before and they have tabled Amendment No. 69 today. Have the Government thought about this? It is very important that the right people should be available to be governors. They will have a key role. It will be important to think out what sort of interests people are expected to declare. They must surely be relevant interests, not just any interest. To be asked to be a governor may be a great honour or it may be something that people are not frightfully keen on and need to be persuaded to do. But if they have to declare all their interests, I believe that many people will be put off this job.

It occurs to me that one relevant interest might be that a member, or a member's family, had a propensity to some sort of illness and was going to need acute treatment, perhaps frequently. Would that be something someone would be expected to declare? I do not necessarily expect the Minister to give a detailed answer on that but I believe the Government must have thought that relevant interests must be identifiable and written down somewhere so that people who should be governors are not put off that job.