Part of Health and Care Bill - Third Reading – in the House of Lords at 4:22 pm on 23rd March 2022.

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Photo of Baroness Thornton Baroness Thornton Shadow Spokesperson (Equalities and Women's Issues), Shadow Spokesperson (Health) 4:22 pm, 23rd March 2022

My Lords, I was rather hoping that we would do one of these. I agree with the Minister that we have improved the Bill; it is a much-improved Bill that we are sending back to the Commons, and I hope that they have the good sense to accept all the wise amendments that this House has made.

I also say to the noble Lord, Lord Kamall, that this is his first Bill, and it has been a baptism of fire for him. It is a very large Bill to cut your teeth on. I think that he has had a bit of a masterclass on legislation and legislative processes, but I compliment him on how he has risen to the occasion and thank the whole ministerial team, including the noble Earl and the noble Baroness, Lady Penn; I was about to call her Baroness Jo-Jo, sorry. I also observe that this is a three-baby Bill. The leader of the Bill team and the noble Baroness, Lady Penn, have had babies, and our adviser who started out on the Bill, Rhian, has also had a baby. That is probably quite unusual in your Lordships’ House.

I say thank you, of course, to my wonderful colleagues, my noble friends Lady Wheeler and Lady Merron, and also to the Labour team behind me, particularly my noble friend Lord Hunt, who has been especially active on the Bill—and very welcome that has been, too. We have worked very well across the House, and we have been very pleased to work with the noble Baroness, Lady Walmsley, as well as the noble Baroness, Lady Brinton, at a distance, and with many colleagues on the Cross Benches. If I start listing them, I know that I shall forget someone, but I need to mention the noble Lord, Lord Patel. He has not been with us for as much of the Bill as he would have liked, but of course his wisdom has been with us all the way through the Bill.

We are sending the Bill back to the other place, and I suspect that we are all going to be busy when it starts pinging and ponging back.