Report (2nd Day)

Part of Care Bill [HL] – in the House of Lords at 4:30 pm on 14th October 2013.

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Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health 4:30 pm, 14th October 2013

My Lords, I assure the House that the Government are in agreement with the intentions behind the amendment tabled by the noble Lords, Lord Warner and Lord Patel. We are working hard to deliver our shared objective of improving care for people approaching the end of their lives. It is in that context that I shall move government Amendment 57.

On the issue of treating the assessment of terminally ill people as urgent, I fully recognise noble Lords’ concerns. With that in view, I have tabled an amendment to make it explicit that the end of life is an example of when local authorities may treat cases as urgent. We do not believe that it would be right to require local authorities to treat all cases in this way—circumstances have to dictate the approach taken—but we agree that clarity around end-of-life cases as examples of urgent situations for the purposes of Clause 19 may provide a useful indication to improve practice. I shall not anticipate noble Lords’ remarks in support of their amendments, so at this stage I beg to move.