Speculation over the health bill in the Lords…

Posted on August 23, 2011 by


I’ve just been pinged an article from the Health Service Journal last Friday, GP peer to table amendments to wreck health bill. Lord Rea, a Labour peer and former GP, has said he plans to table an amendment to the Health & Social Care Bill when it reaches the Lords calling for it to be withdrawn. This is something the BMA have called for. The article speculates on how successful such an amendment might be, whether it would be supported by enough peers to stop the bill from going forward.


The Health & Social Care Bill was published on 19 January 2011, proposing changes to the NHS. It started off being debated in the Commons.

Once it had completed committee stage, in response to growing concern over the proposals in it, it was paused to allow the government to “pause, listen and engage” and consider making changes to Bill.

Following this pause, the government made some research-friendly changes to the Health & Social Care Bill.

Because it had been changed considerably, the bill went back into committee stage so MPs could scrutinise it clause by clause. It now needs to complete report stage and third reading in the Commons before it heads to the Lords to be debated.

What next?

The final stages in the Commons, report stage and third reading, are scheduled for 6 and 7 September.

I am working with others focused on the impacts of the bill for research to prepare some information for MPs ahead of this which should be available soon. Our big issues are:

  • following up the commitments to build research and innovation into the system which the government made following the listening exercise – including placing a duty to promote research on the secretary of state and clinical commissioning groups and undertaking to embed a culture of research across the system – and exploring how they plan to deliver on these.
  • exploring what they plan to do to prevent increased localisation of the health system from making it harder to coordinate research
  • exploring  how they plan to create a safe and secure system in which patient data can be used for research following their commitment to improve access to information to promote research.
  • exploring how they will support meaningful patient and public involvement in the design and conduct of research
  • pushing for more detail on how they will improve education and support to develop a health workforce that can do research
  • exploring what action they plan to take to support and foster innovation in the NHS
  • and how they will take forward work to improve the regulation of health research
Posted in: Policy