Clause 101

Part of Health and Social Care Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:00 pm on 22nd January 2008.

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Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Minister of State (Regional Affairs) (South West), The Minister of State, Department of Health 12:00 pm, 22nd January 2008

It seems that the intention of the motion is to extend the function of the CHRE to cover the performance of the OHPA, but it is based on the misapprehension that the OHPA is a regulatory body and, therefore, subject to oversight by the CHRE. The OHPA is an independent body with statutory functions to adjudicate on matters of fitness to practise referred to by the GMC and, at a later date, the GOC, which  will provide the public and the professions with the reassurance that was called for as part of the Shipman inquiry. The CHRE’s functions, which are set out in the National Health Service Reform and Health Care Professions Act 2002, are

“to promote the interests of patients and other members of the public in relation to the performance of their functions by the regulatory bodies...to promote best practice”— in professional regulation—

“to promote co-operation between regulatory bodies...to formulate principles relating to good professional self-regulation, and to encourage regulatory bodies to conform to” such principles. The Bill states:

“The main objective of the Council”— the CHRE—

“in exercising its functions...is to promote the health, safety and well-being of patients and other members of the public.”

The CHRE does not have a remit to ensure that other bodies co-ordinate their activities with it, and as such, it would not be appropriate to impose such a duty on the OHPA. However, clause 102 states:

“Before making rules the OHPA must consult” with a range of interested parties, including the CHRE, because it has oversight of matters relating to regulators, bodies representing the interests of patients and any other persons whom the OHPA considers appropriate.

We feel that those provisions are sufficient to ensure that the OHPA consults the CHRE, and in that light, I urge the hon. Lady to withdraw the motion.