Committee (5th Day)

Part of Health and Social Care Bill – in the House of Lords at 6:15 pm on 14th November 2011.

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Photo of Lord Rea Lord Rea Labour 6:15 pm, 14th November 2011

My Lords, I support all those noble Lords who have spoken so far and I agree with everything they have said; there is hardly anything for me to add. I just want to emphasise that a public health specialist will have had special experience and training in dealing with the massive amount of health data that comes into a health authority or, in this case, to the NHS Commissioning Board; it will be a huge amount. Public health specialists are trained in statistics and in epidemiology, and have other skills needed to handle this information and to help the board to make the correct decisions. I would like to emphasise the point made by my noble friend Lord Warner that very often this can be extremely helpful when certain services are deemed no longer appropriate. They may save a lot of money by giving backing to decommissioning and reconfiguring certain services, ensuring that populations are best served with the resources that are available.