Part of Health and Care Bill - Third Reading – in the House of Lords at 4:30 pm on 23rd March 2022.

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Photo of Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Green 4:30 pm, 23rd March 2022

My Lords, I rise very briefly, with the Green group having made quite a large contribution—certainly in hours—to this Bill.

This House has improved the Bill, but I feel I need to say that I have received in the last few days a significant number of emails. They are not part of a co-ordinated campaign; they are cries from the heart, many from long-term NHS campaigners who I have known for a long while. I quote just one of these, which says that:

“The Bill is still not in the interests of the public or indeed of the NHS itself as a comprehensive, universal public service”.

That is an expression of feeling that I am hearing very strongly. I hope that the Minister will listen to that and understand that there are very grave concerns out there among the public about the direction of the NHS.

The improvements that we have at least delivered, as other noble Lords have said, should stay, but the Government really need to safeguard this universal public service.

Bill passed and returned to the Commons with amendments.