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7.30 pm

Dr. Fox: I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: With this it will be convenient to discuss the following: New clause 7--Community Health Councils: additional functions--


'.--(1) The Secretary of State shall make regulations providing in relation to Community Health Councils ("Councils") in England for--
(a) the delivery by Councils of support and advocacy services to patients and others with complaints about health services;
(b) Councils to advise and make recommendations to the relevant overview and scrutiny committee, health authority and trust about matters arising from complaints;
(c) reports on the operation of the complaints support service to be compiled by Councils and provided to the Secretary of State to the relevant overview and scrutiny committee, health authority, trust, and other appropriate organisations;
(d) annual reports to be published by Councils detailing the arrangements maintained in that year for obtaining the views of patients;
(e) the establishment of sub-committees of each Council to be known as Patients' Forums, for each NHS and primary care trust in the district of the Council, made up of representatives of the Council, and co-opted representatives of the local authority overview and scrutiny committee, patients, carers and the wider community, with duties to--
(i) monitor and review the operation of services provided by, or under arrangements made by, the trust to which it relates;
(ii) obtain the views of patients, carers and the wider community about those services and report on those views to the Council and the trust;
(iii) provide advice and make reports and recommendations about matters relating to those services to the Council, the relevant Health Authority, and the trust to which it relates,
(iv) make available to patients, carers and the wider community advice and information about those services;
(v) in the case of primary care services carry out the functions as may be prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State;
(vi) carry out such other functions as may be prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State;
(f) the appointment of representatives from the Patients' Forum as non-executive directors to the board of the trust to which the Forum relates;
(g) for functions of Patients' Forums to be performed under joint arrangements between Councils, where such arrangements are appropriate to meet the needs of their communities;
(h) the extension of Councils' rights of inspection to all premises from which services as defined in subsection (3) are provided and;

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(i) matters of concern which Councils may refer to the National Institute for Clinical Excellence, the Commission for Health Improvement, the Audit Commission and the Secretary of State.
(2) References in subsection (1) to "services" are references to--
(a) services provided as part of the health service (within the meaning of the 1977 Act) in England;
(b) services provided in England in pursuance of arrangements under regulations under section 31 of the Health Act 1999; and
(c) services provided elsewhere in pursuance of such arrangements with a local authority in England.
(3) In subsection (2)--
(a) "relevant overview and scrutiny committee", means the committee of the council or councils whose district corresponds, or is included within, the community represented by the Council.
(b) "relevant Health Authority" in subsection (1)(e) in relation to a Patients' Forum for a Primary Care Trust, means the Health Authority whose area is, or includes, the area for which the trust is established.
(4) Before making regulations under this section the Secretary of State shall consult with Councils and such patients' and carers' organisations as he shall consider appropriate.'.

New clause 8--Community Health Councils in Wales--


'. The National Assembly for Wales may, by order, in relation to Community Health Councils in Wales, make provision corresponding to the provision which the Secretary of State must, by regulations, make in relation to Community Health Councils in England under section (Community Health Councils: additional functions).'.

New clause 9--Patients' Councils--


'.--(1) The Secretary of State shall by regulations provide for the establishment of bodies to be known as Patients' Councils (referred to in this section as "Councils") the members of which are to be appointed in each case by two or more Patients' Forums.
(2) The regulations shall provide for determining--
(a) the Patients' Forums by which the members of a Council are to be appointed, and
(b) the area in relation to which the functions of a Council are exercisable.
(3) The functions of a Council are--
(a) to facilitate the co-ordination by member Forums of their activities;
(b) to make reports to health authorities, local authorities and their committees and to the Secretary of State in accordance with the regulations;
(c) to carry out such arrangements as may be made with the Council under section 19A of the 1977 Act (independent advocacy services);
(d) such other functions as the regulations may prescribe.
(4) The "member Forums" of a Council are the Patients' Forums by which its members are for the time being appointed.'.

New clause 10--Independent advocacy services--


'. After section 19 of the 1977 Act there shall be inserted--
"Independent advocacy services
19A.--(1) It is the duty of the Secretary of State to arrange, to such extent as he considers necessary to meet all reasonable requirements, for the provision of independent advocacy services.
(2) "Independent advocacy services" are services providing assistance (by way of representation or otherwise) to individuals making or intending to make--
(a) a complaint under a procedure operated by a health service body or independent provider,

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(b) a complaint to the Health Service Commissioner for England or the Health Service Commissioner for Wales,
(c) a complaint of a prescribed description which relates to the provision of services as part of the health service and
(i) is made under a procedure of a prescribed description, or
(ii) gives rise, or may give rise, to proceedings of a prescribed description.
(3) In subsection (2)--
"health service body" means a body which, under section 2(1) or (2) of the Health Service Commissioners Act 1993, is subject to investigation by the Health Service Commissioner for England or the Health Service Commissioner for Wales;
"independent provider" means a person who, under section 2B(1) or (2) of that Act, is subject to such investigation.
(4) The Secretary of State may make such other arrangements as he thinks fit for the provision of assistance to individuals in connection with complaints relating to the provision of services as part of the health service.
(5) In making arrangements under this section the Secretary of State must have regard to the principle that the provision of services under the arrangements should, so far as practicable, be independent of any person who is the subject of a relevant complaint or is involved in investigating or adjudicating on such a complaint.
(6) Before making arrangements under this section in respect of complaints relating to the provision of any services, the Secretary of State shall consult--
(a) any relevant Patients' Council, and
(b) such other persons as he considers appropriate.
(7) A Patients' Council is, for the purposes of subsection (6)(a), a relevant Council if the services concerned are ones to which functions of a member Forum of the Council relate.
(8) The Secretary of State may make payments to any person in pursuance of arrangements under this section.".'.

Amendment No. 2, in page 9, line 6, leave out clause 11.

Government amendments Nos. 144 to 150.

Amendment No. 3, in page 10, line 18, leave out clause 12.

Amendment No. 4, in page 10, line 30, leave out clause 13.

Amendment No. 5, in page 10, line 38, leave out clause 14.

Amendment No. 24, in clause 14, page 10, line 39, at end insert "and Patients" Councils ("Councils").".

Government amendment No. 151.

Amendment No. 25, in clause 14, in page 11, line 24, at end insert--


'( ) Subsection (2) applies in relation to a Council as it applies in relation to its member Forums.'.

Amendment No. 26, in clause 14, in page 11, line 36, at end insert--


'( ) The regulations must include provision as to the use by member Forums of a Council, and by the Council, of shared facilities and staff.'.

Amendment No. 6, in page 12, line 7, leave out clause 15.

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Amendment No. 19, in page 12, line 34, leave out clause 16.

Government amendment No. 159.


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