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Clause 11 - Power of Secretary of State to give

Part of Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:00 am on 22nd May 2003.

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Photo of Evan Harris Evan Harris Liberal Democrat, Oxford West and Abingdon 11:00 am, 22nd May 2003

The Minister has given an interesting perspective on the way in which the Government want to use what I am happy to call the internal market—under the terms that he has used—and the split between commissioning and providing. However, if money is to follow not only price but efficiency and activity, the implication is that it might flow from places that are less efficient and active to those that are more so in a way that does not happen at the moment due to the block contract.

My concern is about those providers that are unable to increase their efficiency or capacity because of factors beyond their control, such as supply of labour or capacity in the social care sector. They will lose funding that they do not lose at present, because of the greater flows. That will make their situation even worse because they will be less able to compete in the labour market. They will be less able to buy extra capacity because they will have lost the funds that they

had been accumulating in order to compete. That is our real problem with the beginnings of the operation of this flow.