My Lords, I place on record my sincere thanks, and I believe those of my noble friend Lady Emerton, to the Minister for a very helpful discussion that we had that I think helped him bring forward Amendment No. 50, which we support. It improves on the amendment that we tabled.
It is extremely important for the professions to have the strong declaration of confidence in their role on the board that has come from the Government through Amendment No. 50. It means that the Government recognise the importance of the clinical directives from medicine and nursing in developing strategy and business plans; providing professional advice; communicating professional views and the trust's views to clinicians; being responsible for operational aspects of clinical governance and maintaining clinical standards; clinical risk management; safeguarding confidentiality; and research and development on information that the Government issue. The amendment will also allow a board to work with primary care colleagues, another important role in its liaison to primary care.
As a doctor and nurse, or a dentist if it is a dental trust, will be on the board there will be a huge responsibility on them to liaise with all the allied professions throughout the trust, to ensure that there is true multi-professional working and that all the issues of governance and strategy are filtered out, with information gathered from the whole multi-professional team. I am sure that I speak for my noble friend in saying that we have every confidence that the people in that position on the board will be able to discharge such duties. It is crucially important for any service to have that input at board level.