Clause 168 - Appointments to certain health and

Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:15 pm on 12th June 2003.

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Photo of Patsy Calton Patsy Calton Liberal Democrat, Cheadle 4:15 pm, 12th June 2003

I beg to move amendment No. 370, in

clause 168, page 86, line 44, at end insert—

'(1A) This section applies to the CHAI and CSCI.'.

My hon. Friend the Member for Sutton and Cheam (Mr. Burstow) was supposed to be here to move the amendment, but the Committee will have noticed that he has much to do. The amendment is probably self-explanatory. The clause is headed

''Appointments to certain health and social care bodies'',

and subsection (1) states:

''This section applies to a body (however established) which has functions relating to—

(a) health;

(b) social care;

(c) the regulation of professions associated with health or social care.''

We simply seek to establish that the clause also applies CHAI and CSCI.

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

Amendment No. 370 seeks to ensure that the clause covers CHAI and CSCI. The clause provides for the Secretary of State to delegate to a special health authority his function of making appointments to certain health and social care bodies. It is clear that CHAI has functions relating to health care and that CSCI has functions relating to social care. By definition, therefore, they are already covered by the clause. A previous debate about the independence of CHAI and CSCI went on for some time, and the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam acknowledged then that the policy intention was for the Secretary of State to delegate his appointments functions in relation to CHAI and CSCI to the NHS Appointments Commission. I can restate that intention today, but we should not reopen that debate on the basis of the amendment, which I ask the Committee to reject.

Photo of Patsy Calton Patsy Calton Liberal Democrat, Cheadle

I am grateful to the Under-Secretary for that explanation. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

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

I beg to move amendment No. 547, in

clause 168, page 87, line 23, at end insert

'and includes any function relating to the appointment to or removal from (whether permanently or otherwise) any particular office in the membership of the body.'.

The amendment is designed to allow for the delegation to the NHS Appointments Commission of the power to appoint or remove people from specific posts. It is intended to clarify that the commission will

have the power to deal with people who hold offices as well as being members of the various organisations.

This is very much a technical amendment, which is judged necessary to clarify that decisions can be made in relation to such posts. It will ensure, for example, that the commission can appoint or remove chairs or vice-chairs in the way that the Secretary of State would have been able to do had he not delegated his authority to the commission. I therefore ask the Committee to support the amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause 168, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.