The Minister moved part of the way towards us earlier in the debate by noting the challenges that have happened in the sector, especially those that have received public attention. It is worth our looking at the issue, because it is clear that there are perverse incentives for independent hospitals to make judgments that serve—whether consciously or subconsciously—the broader interests of the facility, but move away from the best interests of the individual. It makes abundant sense to put some sort of independence into the system and help those organisations by moving responsibility back to those who would normally have holding responsibilities for the care of individuals.
In an ideal system, a CCG or local authority would purchase a framework, as it would in general needs social care, in which the cost was related to the care that it was buying for the needs of individuals. It would be relatively fixed and understood, rather than going up and down according to individual circumstances. However, with the individuals and the care packages that we are talking about, frameworks break down instantly; the package needed for each person is so specific that there are no models to buy from and no fixed prices, so the benefit of a market falls away. In my experience in local government of commissioning analogous packages of support for people with very profound needs, often only one provider came forward, so it very much set the price.
Amendment 19 would take away the perverse incentive and ensure, as we would all wish, that care is designed around the individual and not around anything else.