Health and Social Care Bill — Report (4th Day) (Continued)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 10:15 pm on 29th February 2012.

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Photo of Baroness Finlay of Llandaff Baroness Finlay of Llandaff Crossbench 10:15 pm, 29th February 2012

My Lords, I also did not put my name on this amendment because there was not enough space for more than four names.

I have a concern that the Health Protection Agency itself may have been a bit like a prophet in its own land and that it was not recognised fully until now, when we see its disappearance, just how important the work is that it has been doing, both nationally and internationally. Apart from already earning money for the UK, its potential to carry on doing so in the emerging large economies in other parts of the world and expanding its scientific input is enormous. It has the role not only of public health but anticipating what threats may emerge in the future, particularly in the range of toxins that it looks at and studies.

These amendments seem to solve a problem that we have all heard about. We have all been at meetings; we have all met with the relevant people. I really hope that we will not just get told that this cannot happen for a variety of reasons. The amendments seem to be solving a problem that has only been created as a result of these changes. I cannot see that there is anything to lose, except that if the amendments are not accepted we might lose the capacity to earn international research funds in the future.