Clause 20 - Entry and inspection of premises

Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 6:15 pm on 3rd June 2003.

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Photo of Andrew Lansley Andrew Lansley Conservative, South Cambridgeshire 6:15 pm, 3rd June 2003

I beg to move amendment No. 194, in

clause 20, page 8, line 31, at end add

'such an inspection to be coordinated with the CHAI'.

I move the amendment on behalf of my right hon. Friend the Member for North-West Hampshire. Once again it is a practical suggestion in the same spirit as amendment No. 193. The intention is to relieve the burdens of compliance on foundation trusts and permit them to do their tasks with the minimum amount of interference. Although it is understood that the authorisation might require the regulator to enter and inspect premises of an NHS foundation trust, the requirements of the Commission on Health Audit and Inspection and the regulator should be co-ordinated to ensure that what is happening in the foundation trust is examined once rather than twice in order to minimise interference with management. I hope that the Minister can accept that practical suggestion.

Photo of John Hutton John Hutton Minister of State, Department of Health, Minister of State (Department of Health) (Health)

I am delighted to accept—[Hon Members: Oh!]—the hon. Gentleman's argument, but not necessarily his amendment. I agree that there should be proper and effective co-ordination. However, the regulator needs these separate and independent powers of inspection. The argument for co-ordination is well made. I simply refer the hon. Gentleman to clause 47(8), which requires the regulator and CHAI to co-operate in the exercise of their respective functions under part 1 of the Bill. The point that the hon. Gentleman seeks to make has already been acknowledged in a later part of the Bill.

Mr. Lansley: I am grateful for the Minister's response and for drawing my attention to that part of the Bill. On the understanding that it will be used in that respect, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 20 ordered to stand part of the Bill.