Clause 44

Part of Health and Social Care Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:15 pm on 17th January 2008.

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Photo of Sandra Gidley Sandra Gidley Shadow Minister, Health 2:15 pm, 17th January 2008

I am slightly confused as to why the Minister appears to think that there are powers to deal with the situations that I described earlier, whereas the Healthcare Commission thought that there could be gaps in what it could regulate. I am not entirely convinced that the example that I quoted would be fully captured by the proposal. If there is a problem in  a private hospital, I suspect that the bar would have to be raised considerably higher before anyone thought to investigate or review it in a special way.

I say that because the Minister stressed that it is not the Government’s business to consider private arrangements, so, more or less of necessity, the new commission would focus its efforts almost entirely on NHS provision. Some would say that that is perfectly understandable. However, there is a wider public interest issue on which we need absolute clarity. I should therefore be grateful if the Minister described what powers will be available and said how the situation that I described could be dealt with if it seemed that there was a trend——that perhaps one or two complaints had been received. With that proviso, I will withdraw the amendment.