Schedule 5

Part of Health and Social Care Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:18 pm on 17th January 2008.

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Photo of Brian Jenkins Brian Jenkins Labour, Tamworth 4:18 pm, 17th January 2008

I want to ask the Minister whether he shares my concerns about this area. We constantly say that we do not want to get involved with private purchasers of health care. If one of my constituents goes to a shop and buys a good that is not of merchandisable quality, they can contact trading standards, which will intervene on their behalf and ensure that they get something that is fit for purpose. Why, at the end of their life, when they are in their most vulnerable position, can they not contact a publicly funded official who will intervene on their behalf? I know that it is a difficult area to get into, but I do not think that we should run away from the problem. A lot of these problems can be solved by early intervention between the consumer and the provider, without having to get embroiled in obtaining lawyers and going through a long drawn-out process. If the Minister could explain why that is the case, I would be grateful.