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Government confirms that NHS Bill will privatise patient representation - Lord Toby Harris

On Friday, when Parliament was not sitting, the Government published 68 amendments to the Health and Social Care Bill changing the status of local HealthWatch organisations (the local bodies that are intended to protect patient interests in the new Tory/LibDem vision of the Health Service), as I predicted a few weeks ago.

The amendments are very complex and difficult to follow - they amend amendments to Part 14 of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007.  And they are scheduled to be debated next week during the House of Lords Report Stage consideration of the NHS Bill.

That means that these amendments - slipped out without proper warning or explanation (a normal courtesy of writing to those Peers with an interest in a particular matter doesn't yet seem to have happened in this case) - will not receive proper Parliamentary scrutiny.  They have never been considered by the House of Commons (and, if passed in the Lords, will now only be taken there as part of the truncated Consideration of Lords Amendments procedures).  In the House of Lords, they have not been subjected to detailed scrutiny at Committee Stage and will essentially have to be debated on a take it or leave it basis when they are eventually reached probably some time late on Thursday.  That will be the only opportunity for any  discussion on what these amendments mean.

So what are these amendments about?



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 03:28:49 PM EST
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