Report (6th Day)

Part of Health and Social Care Bill – in the House of Lords at 4:00 pm on 8th March 2012.

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Photo of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, Shadow Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 4:00 pm, 8th March 2012

My Lords, my noble friend has made a powerful case for having a champion for older people to look not just at the impact of decisions made in the NHS but going much wider. She is right to refer to pejorative remarks such as bed-blocking being very insensitive to old people. We face a considerable challenge within the health service to ensure that we are sensitive and reflect that there is huge demand from frail older people which is not being met as effectively as we would wish.

My noble friend said that the amendment may not be perfectly formed but that we have to start somewhere. I wonder whether the noble Earl, late on this Thursday afternoon, might give some comfort. After all, it would not be impossible within HealthWatch England to have a designated person with responsibility for overseeing-or, if you like, monitoring-services for older people. It could be well worth exploring whether the thought behind my noble friend's amendment is worth pursuing.