National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill

Part of the debate – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:00 am on 4th February 2015.

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Photo of David Nuttall David Nuttall Conservative, Bury North 10:00 am, 4th February 2015

I take the criticism on the chin, and I am glad that I gave way to my right hon. Friend. I am grateful to him for bringing up that point, because it was something that I had to weigh up in determining whether to go for the 10th or the 24th. There is a good argument for submitting to the Committee that it should first meet on the 24th to allow time for interested bodies to make their views about the Bill known.

When the 2012 Act was progressing through Committee, the first couple of sittings were taken up entirely with evidence from interested parties. We are being told that it is necessary to completely change the nature of the 2012 Act—that is what the Bill would do. I do not want to go into the detail yet—you are quite right about that, Mr Hood—but I hope everybody accepts that it is important to know the context of the Bill, because the nature of the Bill determines the duration and the nature of the proceedings of the Committee. We need to have in the back of our mind that this is not an ordinary Bill. I have touched on that, and I will not go back to it, but we need to bear in mind that this Bill seeks to amend a substantial piece of legislation.

Dr Poulter rose—