Peers get ready to debate the health bill

Posted on October 6, 2011 by

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The Lords are debating the Health & Social Care Bill next Tuesday, 11 October. This will be the second reading – the first big debate of the bill in the Lords.  Over 90 now have their names down to speak in the debate. The speakers are likely to use to use this opportunity to outline their big concerns with the bill, indicating the issues they may be considering amending later.

We are just putting the finishing touches to a briefing on the key issues for research.  The government increased their focus on research and innovation as the bill went through the Commons, but further clarity and commitments are needed. I’ll have our briefing, which outlines the key areas of concern we are hoping peers will be able to explore during the course of debate in the Lords, up here soon.

The bill’s passage through the Lords is a great opportunity for the government to make further changes to the bill or make commitments during the debates to take things forward..

In the course of the debates, we’d like more detail on how the government will take steps to:

  • Provide further detail of how the commitments to promote research and innovation will be delivered
  • Develop effective mechanisms to deliver research locally
  • Establish streamlined and robust regulation and governance of health research
  • Integrate meaningful patient and public involvement in research
  • Enable the safe and secure use of patient data for research
  • Develop the health research workforce
  • Support innovation in the NHS

What next?

The bill will be debated in the Lords on Tuesday. As there are so many speakers, each of the speakers are likely to have very short time slots or it’s possible they may need more than one day for this debate to be completed.

The next step will be for the Lords to scrutinise the bill clause by clause – committee stage. For this stage they will table amendments to probe the government’s intentions and suggest changes to the bill. It’ll be at least a couple of weeks before committee stage starts.

Posted in: Policy