Schedule 6 - The Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health

NHS Reform & Health Care Professions Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:45 pm on 6th December 2001.

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Photo of Laura Moffatt Laura Moffatt Labour, Crawley 4:45 pm, 6th December 2001

I beg to move amendment No. 158, in page 70, line 10, leave out from 'Commission' to end of line 11.

Photo of Mr Alan Hurst Mr Alan Hurst Labour, Braintree

With this it will be convenient to discuss amendment No. 159, in page 70, line 17, leave out sub-paragraphs (5) and (6).

Photo of Laura Moffatt Laura Moffatt Labour, Crawley

In a debate earlier this week, the hon. Member for North-East Hertfordshire said:

''As with so much of the Bill, the Secretary of State does not give away any powers.''—[Official Report, Standing Committee A, 4 December 2001; c. 201.]

However, I hope that the amendments will enable the Under-Secretary to demonstrate that that is possible.

Amendment No. 158 relates to the consent of the Secretary of State to the appointment of the chief executive of the commission. It would take that power away from him and remove that requirement. Amendment No. 159 would do the same in respect of terms and conditions of employees of the commission. That would be a sensible thing to do.

Many of us have heard lots of interest expressed by local politicians and local people who have been involved in health campaigning for many years. We would be mad to assume that those people are going to walk away because there are new procedures in place and new ways of working. They will want to be engaged with what is going on. The amendments would help them to understand that the commission will be independent and able to do its job much better than ever the community health councils were able to do. I hope very much that my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary will accept the amendments.

Photo of Oliver Heald Oliver Heald Shadow Spokesperson (Health)

I warmly support the hon. Lady in her amendments and hope that when we come to schedule 7, on which I have tabled similar amendments, she will support me.

Photo of Richard Taylor Richard Taylor Independent, Wyre Forest

I thoroughly support the amendments but I am completely puzzled as to why we did not remove the same provision in schedule 2 of the Health Act 1999 in relation to the director of the Commission for Health Improvement.

Photo of Hazel Blears Hazel Blears Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health)

In response to the hon. Member for Wyre Forest, that has already been done in the Bill.

I welcome the amendments. It is important that the commission is independent; that was one of the main things that was said in the listening exercise. I confirm that the Government are prepared to accept my hon. Friend's amendments. They will strengthen the proposals, and make the commission more independent and more vibrant.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment made: No. 159, in page 70, line 17, leave out sub-paragraphs (5) and (6).--[Laura Moffatt.]

It being Five o'clock, The Chairman proceeded, pursuant to Sessional Order D [20 November 2001] and the Order of the Committee [27 and 29 November 2001], to put forthwith the Questions necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded at that time.

Amendments made: No. 131, in page 72, line 16, leave out '45' and insert '45A'.

No. 132, in page 72, line 17, leave out '45A' and insert '45B'.--[Ms Blears.]

Motion made, and Question put, That this schedule, as amended, be the Sixth schedule to the Bill:--

The Committee divided: Ayes 9, Noes 3.

Division number 11 Adults Abused in Childhood — Schedule 6 - The Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health

Aye: 9 MPs

No: 3 MPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Nos: A-Z by last name

Question accordingly agreed to.

Schedule 6, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Question put, That clauses 20 and 21 stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Evan Harris Evan Harris Liberal Democrat, Oxford West and Abingdon

On a point of order, Mr. Hurst. Are clauses 20 and 21 being voted on together?

Photo of Mr Alan Hurst Mr Alan Hurst Labour, Braintree

Under the terms of the programming motion, all business must be disposed of by 5 o'clock.

The Committee divided: Ayes 7, Noes 4.

Division number 12 Adults Abused in Childhood — Schedule 6 - The Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health

Aye: 7 MPs

No: 4 MPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Nos: A-Z by last name

Question agreed to.

Clauses 20 and 21 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Oliver Heald Oliver Heald Shadow Spokesperson (Health)

On a point of order, Mr. Hurst. We have been unable to discuss amendments Nos. 152, 190-197, new clause 1, clause 20, which abolishes community health councils, clause 21, which covers joint working with the Prison Service, and new clause 1, which was tabled by the hon. Member for Oxford, West and Abingdon who speaks for the Liberal Democrats. Can you confirm that it is in order for us to return to those matters on Report? As Chairman of the Programming Sub-Committee, can you indicate that more time will be required than the programme motion provides?

Photo of Mr Alan Hurst Mr Alan Hurst Labour, Braintree

On the second point, I speak only as the Programming Sub-Committee tells me so to do. On the first point, however, it will be possible to table further amendments on Report if the hon. Gentleman so wishes.

Further consideration adjourned.--[Mr. Fitzpatrick.]

Adjourned accordingly at Five minutes past Five o'clock till Tuesday 11 December at half-past Ten o'clock.