Clause 2

Part of Health and Social Care Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:00 am on 17th February 2011.

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Photo of Simon Burns Simon Burns The Minister of State, Department of Health 10:00 am, 17th February 2011

Every intervention from the hon. Gentleman is important.

Some of the ideas suggested by Opposition Members seem superficially attractive as a good way of getting things done, but their approach would undermine the devolved responsibility that the Bill seeks to establish and bring responsibility for provision of NHS services back to Whitehall, by giving the Secretary of State a direct duty to deliver improvements in the quality of the service.

The Government have said on the record and constantly repeat that we acknowledge the good ongoing work being carried out to improve and drive up standards. We recognise the importance of the work of the noble Lord Darzi in putting stronger emphasis on quality; it would be churlish not to. At least we have the confidence and maturity to accept when something is being done well or has gone well and to seek to build and improve on it further. That might be a lesson that others could learn.