Committee (5th Day)

Part of Health and Social Care Bill – in the House of Lords at 7:00 pm on 14th November 2011.

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Photo of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, Shadow Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 7:00 pm, 14th November 2011

Can I say how much I welcome the noble Lord, Lord Greaves, to our Committee? We have missed him. Now we have turned our attention to detail, his particular expertise comes to the fore.

On bureaucracy, I have tabled this amendment because I have genuinely been a passionate fighter of bureaucracy. That is why sometimes as Ministers we have to intervene in the bureaucratic affairs of the health service. The noble Earl may find that he himself has to do so. My concern is that, partly because of the listening pause, there is now a plethora of organisations to be established. Apart from clinical commissioning groups, we have commissioning support units-about which we have heard very little but apparently will be there-as well as the senates, the health and well-being boards, the clinical pathways and the national Commissioning Board. The regulators are likely to be given more power in the future: Monitor is being given more powers and, post Francis, there will probably be changes to the CQC and other regulatory matters. The risk is that, far from this being a streamlined process, it will be a very complex and bureaucratic one. I seek here merely to help the Government deliver their aims by encouraging them to restrain the cost of the whole exercise.