Clause 51 - Licensing of NHS foundation trusts

Part of Health and Care Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:45 am on 23rd September 2021.

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Photo of Edward Argar Edward Argar Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care) 11:45 am, 23rd September 2021

The hon. Gentleman tempts me to give a specific example. The reason we chose the flexibility of using guidance is that we cannot envisage every eventuality, so we will set out in guidance the process and approach. I will try to give him an illustrative example rather than a specific one, if he will allow me. If we have an ICB making collective decisions about where capital investment is most needed at a system level, and if we have a foundation trust with resources deciding to prioritise huge investment in one particular area, that might not necessarily reflect the broadly agreed local priorities in the ICB plan and the ICP plan for that area. I envisage such matters being resolved at an ICB level. I have certainly seen in this job and in a past life, as I suspect the hon. Member for Bristol South has, where informal resolution of these things is often the most effective way, so I would not envisage these powers being used often, but it is important that we have the flexibility that they bring. On that basis, I commend the clauses to the Committee.