Report (5th Day)

Part of Health and Social Care Bill – in the House of Lords at 7:22 pm on 6th March 2012.

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Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health 7:22 pm, 6th March 2012

My Lords, I speak also to Amendments 182 and 183. There is one simple point to Clause 77: it is there to remove the current legal uncertainty and risk of double jeopardy for foundation trusts under the UK's existing general merger controls. The OFT already has jurisdiction to review foundation trust mergers under the Enterprise Act, but there is legal uncertainty as to when that applies in individual cases. That creates the risk of double jeopardy for foundation trusts under current arrangements, as their mergers are also reviewed by the Co-operation and Competition Panel. Amendments 181 to 183 are minor and technical amendments which make it clear that Clause 77 applies to both completed and anticipated mergers. I will reserve my remarks on the other amendments in the group until I have heard the contributions of the noble Lords who are proposing them. Meanwhile, I beg to move.