Report (5th Day)

Part of Health and Social Care Bill – in the House of Lords at 3:15 pm on 6th March 2012.

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Photo of Lord Skelmersdale Lord Skelmersdale Deputy Chairman of Committees, Deputy Speaker (Lords) 3:15 pm, 6th March 2012

My Lords, the House seems to have gone remarkably silent after those two introductory supporters of this particular amendment. As some of your Lordships will remember, when I returned from Northern Ireland as the ex-Minister responsible for health and social services, I came as a great fan of combined health and social services. Yet I discovered in my experience there that it would never, ever work unless you had one organisation in total and utter control. This may seem like a Second Reading speech, but it is not intended to be. The Secretary of State mentioned in the amendment means any Secretary of State, and currently we have two Secretaries of State. That is why the notable ambitions of this amendment-and they are notable-will always fail. Therefore, I encourage my noble friend, until a higher authority than himself, senior as he is, gives the imprimatur to take social services away from local government, to resist this amendment.