Amendment 3 (to Amendment 2)

Procurement Bill [HL] - Report (1st Day) – in the House of Lords at 4:45 pm on 28 November 2022.

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Baroness Brinton:

Moved by Baroness Brinton

3: Clause 1, in subsection (2), in the definition of “public authority”, in paragraph (a), after “funds” insert “including the NHS”Member’s explanatory statementThis amendment includes the NHS in the definition of a public authority for the purposes of this Act.

Photo of Baroness Brinton Baroness Brinton Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Health)

My Lords, I am very grateful for the Minister’s response, and I thank my noble friend Lord Scriven for signing my amendment, and the noble Baroness, Lady Bennett, for intending to do so. I also thank the noble Lords, Lord Alton and Lord Coaker, the noble Baroness, Lady Noakes, and others who have spoken in support of it.

I am really grateful to the Minister for trying to explain why there would be less confusion if we had the arrangements currently being proposed under the Health and Care Act in relation to the National Health Service Act 2006 and those in the Procurement Bill. She said that Parliament had debated this only very recently, but I have covered that by saying that, when the then Health and Care Bill went through, we did not know what was being proposed in the Procurement Bill. The details of the Procurement Bill are so much more detailed than was intended or understood during the debate on the Health and Care Bill, so that is a problem.

I am astonished at the idea that accepting my Amendment 3 would create undue bureaucracy; the exact converse is true on all the points the Minister made. When you actually look at Section 12ZB, which will be inserted into the National Health Service Act 2006 after the passage of this Bill, you see that it does not make this clear in its reference to clinical services, which is not legally defined. It not only talks about “health care services” without defining what a healthcare service is, but goes on to say,

“and other goods or services that are procured together with” them. The mini-debate we had a few minutes about how that would be decided and managed between the Cabinet Office and the Department of Health seems as though it would create a phenomenal amount of bureaucracy and the chance for people to abuse the system.

The Minister said that the arrangement would mean that the Department of Health could ensure that the provision in the Health and Care Act would not be used by the NHS to avoid the more stringent terms in this Bill. However, that seems to be exact reason why the NHS should abide by those stringent terms. For that reason, I would like to test the opinion of the House.

Ayes 196, Noes 183.

Division number 1 Procurement Bill [HL] - Report (1st Day) — Amendment 3 (to Amendment 2)

Aye: 194 Members of the House of Lords

No: 181 Members of the House of Lords

Aye: A-Z by last name


No: A-Z by last name


Amendment 3 (to Amendment 2) agreed.

Amendment 4 (to Amendment 2) not moved.

Amendment 2, as amended, agreed.