Health and Social Care Bill — Report (3rd Day) (Continued)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:15 pm on 27th February 2012.

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Photo of Lord Mawson Lord Mawson Crossbench 11:15 pm, 27th February 2012

My Lords, I am most grateful to the Minister for what he has had to say. I am trying not to be difficult but to be practical. The future of the health service depends on practical details being got right in the machinery of the NHS, which is where I seek to draw the Minister's attention. For me it is not about words about whether it is the health service, or patients, or words in an amendment; it is about what is actually going on in the machinery. I fear that the practice is still too little understood and that there is more work to be done here. I know that this is the beginnings of a journey and that we have further to go with the various elements of the jigsaw.

The purpose of the amendments was really to draw the attention of the Minister and the Government to this and to encourage them to focus on the detail, and to encourage colleagues within the NHS to spend a bit of time with practical entrepreneurs who have to try to make this work. We want them to examine in a few details some real pieces of work where people have attempted through weightings and other mechanisms a level playing field-because people like me do not want special favours, but we do want a level playing field. All that I can say is that in practice it is not level. If the Government want many of their aspirations for a broader involvement in the health service with social enterprise and others in the voluntary sector, unless those practical details are better understood and addressed, I fear something quite different will happen.

Having said that, I thank all those who have taken part in this debate and who helped me with the amendments-particularly the noble Lord, Lord Rooker, who is not in his place, but who has been very helpful. The noble Baroness, Lady Tyler, has also been very helpful. This is not a party-political debate; it is a practical matter that seeks to help to move the NHS on into new, more patient-focused reality. The amendments are simply an attempt to flag up yet again the issues. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 64A withdrawn.

Amendments 64B to 66 not moved.

Amendment 66AA, in substitution for Amendment 66A, not moved.

Amendment 67 had been withdrawn from the Marshalled List.

Amendment 67A not moved.

Amendment 67AA, in substitution for Amendment 67A, not moved.

Amendment 68

Moved by Earl Howe

68: Clause 22, page 22, line 16, after "13E" insert ", 13G"

Amendment 68 agreed.

Amendment 69 had been withdrawn from the Marshalled List.

Amendment 70 not moved.

Consideration on Report adjourned.