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House of Lords 'concern' over Health Bill

House of Lords 'concern' over Health Bill


The House of Lords may take the "unusual" route of creating a Select Committee to help it cope with the length and complexity of the Health and Social Care Bill, said a Labour spokesperson.

The Bill returns to the House of Commons today (6 September) for the report stage and third reading, after which it will move to the House of Lords.

If the Lords feel there are serious issues to do with mandate and scrutiny, there will be serious discussions over whether a Select Committee will be set up to look at parts of the Bill, said Glenys Thornton, Labour's Health spokesperson in the House of Lords. 

"I don't know what will happen but [the creation of a Select Committee] has been mentioned several times," said Thornton.

"There is a lot of concern over the complexity of the Bill following the amendments."

Shadow Health Secretary John Healey (pictured) has criticised the force in which the bill is being "forced" through parliament. 

He claims close to £1bn is being spent on redundancy payments in the NHS. In addition he said many now redundant management staff are likely to be rehired at a later date to carry out the "same job in different ways". 

Patients are also counting the cost as £2bn has been 'held back' to cover the cost of the reorganisation – funds that the government promised to patient care said Healey.

"The longer the legislation is in parliament, the more complex and costly it becomes," he said.

"The government haven't assessed the costs and benefits to the reform and that is one reason by the House of Lords will go to town on this Bill.

"It is becoming clear Cameron is breaking his election promises and is not protecting the NHS in the way he should."

Maggie Marum, Management Consultant to the National Association of Primary Care (NAPC), believes the government acted naively in shouting so loudly about the health reform in the first place.

She argues the changes should have been made in batches, conducted much more quietly and without needing approval. 

Nevertheless, she has voiced her support for the Bill. 

"Labour left the government with no money and in order for the NHS to survive, money has to be clawed back from reducing the amount of waste that is currently being made in the NHS," said Marum. 

"Radical change is required. Primary and secondary care practitioners will have to work together if they want to get through this challenging time."


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