Clause 44

Part of Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:15 pm on 13 July 2006.

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Photo of Ivan Lewis Ivan Lewis Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health) (Care Services) 3:15, 13 July 2006

Amendment No. 173 is designed to narrow the circumstances in which a pregnant woman or a nursing mother may be considered vulnerable. I think that the Opposition share our concern that, as drafted, the clause is far too wide. For example, the teacher of an antenatal yoga class would at present be regarded as undertaking a regulated activity.

The amendment would tighten that definition and limit it to those groups that receive community care services. As a result, only those staff who work closely with pregnant women or nursing mothers in the provision of community care services will be subject to monitoring, and barred people will not be able to undertake such work. For example, the tighter definition would include some health visitors that deliver community care services to new mums. We want to ensure that women in those circumstances have the same reassurances about the staff working with them as others using community care services. I hope that the Opposition accept that including a tighter a definition of the receipt of community care services for pregnant women is sensible.

Amendment No. 174 is a minor, technical and consequential amendment to adjust references to national health service legislation, to ensure that those references are consistent with those in the NHS Consolidation Bill. I hope that the hon. Members for Basingstoke and for East Worthing and Shoreham accept what I have said about the definition and that they will not feel it necessary to press amendment No. 57.