Report (5th Day)

Part of Health and Social Care Bill – in the House of Lords at 8:45 pm on 6th March 2012.

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Photo of Baroness Williams of Crosby Baroness Williams of Crosby Liberal Democrat 8:45 pm, 6th March 2012

My Lords, my intervention will be extremely short. I am delighted that the noble Lords, Lord Warner and Lord Patel, put down this proposal for what one might describe as precautionary failure. We were very concerned that there might be no regime that would enable services to continue because one had seen in advance the possibility of a particular place getting into a great deal of trouble. This is a very satisfactory proposal to put before the Government to deal with the continuation of health services for an area, even when those services get into difficulties.

I also strongly commend the proposal of the noble Lord, Lord Warner, about the small group of local people. That has one great advantage: that small group will then become part of what one might describe as a lobby for a sensible outcome, for a proper reconfiguration or change in the structure of services. That is very important. Otherwise, you almost invariably get very powerful local opposition to any substantial change and no natural constituency of people who support it. This is an imaginative idea. I am pleased to be associated with the amendment of the noble Lords, Lord Warner and Lord Patel.