Examination of Witnesses

Part of Health and Social Care(Re-Committed) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:31 am on 28th June 2011.

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Mike Farrar: One of our difficulties—and I think that a number of people will say this today—is that the amendments were tabled on Friday. Given their complexity and the huge number of them, plus the fact that we only got the very helpful document from the Department at teatime yesterday, all I can say is that I will give you to the best of my ability today my interpretation of the views of our members on those issues. In the fullness of time, we may start to understand the issues more, particularly as we need to see the whole thing together to understand a number of them.

It is not just about the individual elements—for example, understanding the nature of a regulatory system against the nature of the accountability of the commissioning consortia—as they play together with the commissioning board. Some of that will emerge in the fullness of time. We know that some issues will not be discussed until Report, which is significant in terms of failure. All I would say today is that I can answer to the best of my ability with the time that has been available, but it may be that there should be future opportunities to bring us back and ask us further questions, should you choose to do so, when we have had a chance to consider the measures. This is a very complex set of changes.