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[Part II]

Part of Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 6:30 pm on 20th May 2003.

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Photo of John Hutton John Hutton Minister of State, Department of Health, Minister of State (Department of Health) (Health) 6:30 pm, 20th May 2003

The hon. Gentleman rightly foresees how I shall respond to the amendment, so I will put him out of his misery. He asked about the robustness of the application process. We have discussed that issue and I have nothing further to add to debates that we have already had. He has seen the guide, and the

proposals that we have put forward. He knows that the application process is not just based on the performance, star rating and assessment framework to which he continually alludes, and that the performance assessment framework is not devoid of any reference to clinical outcomes. As the hon. Gentleman knows, 10 clinical indicators are contained in the performance assessment framework—contrary to what he and other hon. Members have claimed today.

The process is robust. We have set it out and debated it extensively in Committee. It would not be sensible to involve CHAI in the process in the way that the hon. Gentleman has envisaged. It is also clear from part 2 of the Bill that CHAI will have an important and continuing role in assessing the performance of NHS foundation trusts. It will be able to bring matters relating to the performance or inadequacy of performance of foundation trusts properly to the attention of the independent regulator. That is its role. That is where it should focus its effort, not at this stage of the process.