Committee (6th Day)

Part of Care Bill [HL] – in the House of Lords at 4:45 pm on 16th July 2013.

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Photo of Baroness Wheeler Baroness Wheeler Opposition Whip (Lords) 4:45 pm, 16th July 2013

My Lords, I do not have a great deal further to add on this issue, given that we fully supported this approach in the earlier debate on our amendment. The noble Lord, Lord Low, and my noble friend Lord Touhig have made their case powerfully for the need for specialist expertise in assessing people with complex care and support needs—for example, deafblind people, people with autism and those with profound and multiple learning difficulties.

As the noble Lord, Lord Low, pointed out, the draft Bill originally provided for the regulations to specify the circumstances in which a person with expertise in a specialised matter must carry out the assessment on behalf of the authority. However, this was altered in the published Bill, with the only requirement being consultation with a specialist. Noble Lords are right to consider this to be a retrograde step and I look forward to the explanation from the Minister on this and an undertaking to reinstate in Clauses 12 and 27 the current approach, as the amendments propose.