Report (5th Day)

Part of Health and Social Care Bill – in the House of Lords at 8:30 pm on 6th March 2012.

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Photo of Baroness Finlay of Llandaff Baroness Finlay of Llandaff Crossbench 8:30 pm, 6th March 2012

My Lords, the government amendments are indeed welcome because they reflect concerns that have been expressed. I am sure that all those who expressed those concerns are grateful.

The amendments in my name in this group relate to education and training. I know that we have somewhat threaded education and training through the Bill at all stages. Amendment 192 relates to considering education and training when setting licence conditions, and I put "education and training" because in addition to education, staff training at every level is essential.

I hope that the Government will support the view that no organisation should be fit to provide services if it does not ensure that its staff are being kept up to date and if it is not providing an environment from which people can learn. This does not mean that they all have to be recognised educational providers.

Amendment 196 in this group relates to indemnity. This amendment has been tabled again because, despite the response that we were given in Committee, concerns continue over indemnity for patients. Should a patient develop a problem subsequent to a provider going out of business, they should be covered by indemnity. It is interesting that we have the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill in parallel with this Bill. We have concerns over legal aid for medical negligence. I have attached my name to amendments to that Bill concerning legal aid for the victims of clinical negligence.

I hope that the Government will see that there is a need to have indemnity within services, whoever the licensed provider is. There should be a read across to the protection of patients in the event of something going wrong or being done wrong that has harmed them, particularly if they have been harmed in such a way as to incur ongoing costs for healthcare and social care as a result of the problem that arose with the provider, whether it be a voluntary sector provider or a private provider.