Health and Social Care Bill — Report (1st Day) (Continued)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 10:00 pm on 8th February 2012.

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Photo of Baroness Finlay of Llandaff Baroness Finlay of Llandaff Crossbench 10:00 pm, 8th February 2012

My Lords, I would also like to formally record an enormous welcome to these changes to the Bill. What has been said in particular by the noble Lords, Lord Willis and Lord Warner, is very pertinent regarding the need to keep questioning. The one thing now that can happen is that those who are actively involved in research can actually question if they get blocked, in a way that they could not before. I think that they will be very bright and questioning people who will make it known if they are not able to do the research that they see needs to be done for the improvement of clinical services.

Indeed, if we can speed up the processes, perhaps we can create an environment in which all patients and relatives understand that a research-rich environment is one that drives up standards of care, and therefore that they are not being experimented on but are being invited to participate when there is equipoise in the highest standards of monitoring that they could possibly have. The governance around research processes in this country is potentially second to none. We may then regain some of those external trials that up until now have, sadly, been bleeding from our shores. The amendments are incredibly important and their universal welcome is very appropriate. The Minister is to be personally congratulated.