Clause 57 - Additional functions

Health and Social Care(Community Health and Standards) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:45 pm on 10th June 2003.

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Photo of Paul Burstow Paul Burstow Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Shadow Spokesperson (Health) 4:45 pm, 10th June 2003

I beg to move amendment No. 419, in

clause 57, page 21, line 6, after 'efficiency', insert ', equity'.

Photo of Mr Win Griffiths Mr Win Griffiths Labour, Bridgend

With this it will be convenient to discuss amendment No. 420, in

clause 57, page 21, line 7, after 'bodies', insert—

'( ) ethical practice in the exercise of functions of English NHS bodies;'.

Photo of Paul Burstow Paul Burstow Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Shadow Spokesperson (Health)

In the remaining three minutes, I want to talk about two points that the amendments raise. Amendment No. 419 would insert ''equity'' after ''economy, efficiency and effectiveness''. The intention is to make it a requirement for CHAI to have regard for equity as well as economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of health care services by English NHS bodies. That is relevant to how we attempt to close the health inequality gap in this country. It may enable us to start to use the commission as a way of ensuring that issues of equity are also dealt with.

Amendment No. 420 takes us back to an earlier debate on ethics and ethical practice. If my hon. Friend the Member for Oxford, West and Abingdon

(Dr. Harris) were here, I am sure that he would regale the Committee with his expertise on this issue. I shall not do that.

Photo of Simon Burns Simon Burns Shadow Spokesperson (Health)

I do not think that he would, either.

Photo of Paul Burstow Paul Burstow Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Shadow Spokesperson (Health)

The hon. Gentleman makes a comment from a sedentary position that I shall note but not repeat.

The amendments are intended to elucidate the Government's thinking and to clarify whether the commission can examine this issue in discharging its responsibilities. I look forward to the Under-Secretary's reply in the remaining one minute.

Photo of David Lammy David Lammy Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health)

The amendments would add areas to those already listed in which the Secretary of State may advance new functions for CHAI. I sympathise with the amendments but, as I indicated last week, we intend to clarify how the issues of quality and other matters listed in clause 49 apply to CHAI's general functions.

It being Five o'clock, The Chairman put the Question necessary under the terms of the programme resolution to complete the business.

Amendment negatived.

Amendment made: No. 303, in

clause 57, page 21, line 10, leave out 'obtain the consent of' and insert 'consult'.—[Mr. Lammy.]

Clause 57, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Question, That clauses 58 and 59 stand part of the Bill, put and negatived.