Schedule 10 - Part 4: Minor and consequential amendments

Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:15 am on 19th June 2003.

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Question proposed, That this schedule be the Tenth schedule to the Bill.

Photo of Peter Atkinson Peter Atkinson Conservative, Hexham

With this it will be convenient to debate Government new schedule 2 and Government amendments Nos. 624 and 625.

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

When we published the Bill, as I made clear in the debate on the previous group of amendments, parliamentary counsel had the huge and laborious task of ensuring that all existing health legislation that identified references to general dental services and personal dental services on the statute book, and other financial and administrative references, reflected the new terminology and language contained in the Bill.

New schedule 2 will effectively replace schedule 10, which I hope that the Committee will remove from the Bill. I want to reassure the Committee that new schedule 2 contains minor technical and consequential amendments, which are needed to establish integrated primary dental services. The new schedule contains amendments consequential upon the new responsibilities for PCTs, in relation to the provision of primary dental services. The new dental public health functions are affected by clauses 157 and 158. As I said, the new concept of primary dental services needs to be reflected elsewhere in the statute book. That is essentially what my new schedule 2 seeks to do.

There are, however, three additional changes that I must bring to hon. Members' attention. I hope that my doing so will address the points made by the hon. Member for Oxford, West and Abingdon. First, in paragraph 19 of the schedule, the aim of the significant redrafting of provisions for the establishment and recognition of local dental committees in England and Wales was to improve clarity. Existing sections 44 and 45 of the 1977 Act have been subject to repeated amendment as we have pressed ahead with our reform of NHS legislation. I am glad to say, Mr. Atkinson, and I am sure that the Committee will agree, that the

establishment of an integrated primary dental service provided the opportunity for a rewrite. We have sought not to change the way in which dentists are represented locally but to align that with the way in which the new service will be delivered. Local dental committees will be representative of dentists who are providing services under a general dental services contract. Others who provide or perform services may also choose to be represented.

Secondly, paragraph 36 of new schedule 2 replaces existing exemptions for providers of primary dental services from the restrictions to carry on the business of dentistry, which will allow non-dentists to hold a PDS contract. There is also a new form of words to include providers under a GDS contract. If we are to encourage team working and are to extend the opportunity to be involved in NHS dental service provisions to other health care professionals, it is important that the change be made.

Finally, paragraph 52 contains a minor consequential amendment to a provision in the Education Act 1996 that relates to co-operation on school dental inspections. That amendment is needed because the Secretary of State's previous functions, by virtue of clause 158, will in future become a primary care trust responsibility.

Amendment No. 624 completes the repeals and revocations in schedule 12. Those repeals and revocations are consequential on the replacement of sections 35 and 36 on general dental services in the 1977 Act, abolition of the Dental Practice Board, the new dental charging regime and the updating of PDS legislation in order to make its delivery effective in the new world in which we live.

Amendment No. 625 simply improves the drafting of the Bill. Its provisions generally apply to England and Wales. However, where consequential amendments and repeals to the Bill are required under clause 180, that clause will provide that the extent of such an amendment will be the same as the original provision. That is usually desirable, but in the case of the National Health Service (Primary Care) Act 1997, which extends to England, Wales and Scotland, we must make it clear that any consequential repeals or revocations affect provisions in England and Wales only.

Question put and negatived.

Schedule 10 disagreed to.

New clause 19Arrangements under section 28C of the 1977 Act