Clause 54 - The Appointments Commission

Part of Health Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 6:15 pm on 10th January 2006.

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Photo of Andrew Lansley Andrew Lansley Shadow Secretary of State for Health 6:15 pm, 10th January 2006

I do not want to engage in a long discussion about the Appointments Commission. I understand, to a limited extent, what is intended, and I welcome it. It should establish greater independence as to appointments across many NHS functions. However, I want to be sure, as we begin consideration of the next few clauses, about the nature of the process that the Government are entering into.

In particular, I am looking for a sense of the basis on which the Government will appoint the Appointments Commission, as it were—what sort of criteria they are looking for, and when and how they propose to go about the task. There is also the matter of foundation trusts, but that is in a separate clause and it might be simpler to leave it until later. At present I am really interested in the process of transfer between the NHS Appointments Commission and the new Appointments Commission, as well as the opportunities that that will give Ministers for recasting the membership of the Appointments Commission, or alternatively the extent to which the existing NHS Appointments Commission structure may continue into the new body.