Previous SectionIndexHome Page


Dr. Evan Harris: That is a travesty.

Mr. Hutton: None the less, it is what the hon. Gentleman is trying to do and it is a mistake. It is perfectly legitimate and reasonable for Ministers, including my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, to set priorities for the national health service. The hon. Gentleman's election manifesto was full of priorities for the national health service. It dealt with the extra staff that he wanted to recruit and the extra procedures and so on that the Liberal Democrats wanted to introduce in the national health service. It is complete nonsense to suggest that it is inappropriate for Ministers to set priorities for the public services, including national health services, and to be accountable to the House. They should be

15 Jan 2002 : Column 244

accountable not to a ministerial or public body set up by the House, but to the House itself. That is the right constitutional balance.

Dr. Evan Harris: I intervene merely to make the same point as I made in Standing Committee. No one is suggesting that these priorities should not be set by Ministers. One can argue about their volume and the frequency with which they are sent out, but the question is whether they will be open to scrutiny in terms of their impact on the quality of patient care. Use of funds is a separate issue.

Mr. Hutton: Again, the hon. Gentleman misunderstands the current arrangements for ensuring the scrutiny that he and others, including me, want. It is not correct to say that the only way of ensuring the scrutiny that he and others want is to give the Commission for Health Improvement the proposed new function. A range of tools and mechanisms is available to aid the process of scrutinising Government policy. We should bear in mind the National Audit Office, the Audit Commission and the role of this place and the Select Committee on Health, which is so ably led by my hon. Friend the Member for Wakefield (Mr. Hinchliffe). A range of effective measures is already in place to ensure that the decisions taken by Ministers are subject to effective scrutiny. It is important that they are subject to such scrutiny. My argument with him is about his choice of the Commission for Health Improvement as the body that should provide additional scrutiny in respect of such decision making. I do not believe that that is the right way forward.

As the hon. Gentleman knows, the Bill strengthens the powers of the Commission for Health Improvement to do a better job throughout the national health service and to report to the House on what it has found out about the state of the health service. If the Liberal Democrats are looking for more effective ways of scrutinising Ministers and more ammunition in that regard, he should be aware that we are providing him with exactly that sort of ammunition. It is up to them to use it, but it is incorrect to suggest either that the current arrangements are defective and therefore justify new clause 10 or that Ministers are fighting shy of giving the Commission for Health Improvement a range of effective powers to deal with the issues that he and others have raised.

I have tried to set out my arguments clearly. I hope that the House will support the Government amendments and not seek to press the new clause.

Mr. Heald: The Minister's approach to new clauses 3 and 4 was constructive. We do not agree about the Government's record on public health, which we think is lamentable. None the less, he considered the new clauses and explained the complexity of the issues and made some points that I would like to consider further. I am not promising that the issues will not be raised again in the other place, but I shall not press the new clause. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the motion.

Motion and clause, by leave, withdrawn.

New Clause 5

Establishment of Patients' Councils


'(1) The Secretary of State shall, subject to subsection (2) below, establish a body to be known as a Patients' Council ("Councils") in

15 Jan 2002 : Column 245

England in each area for which an overview and scrutiny committee has been established under section 7 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001 (c.15); each council shall be appointed from among members of relevant Primary Care Trust Patients' Forums and NHS Trust Patients' Forums operating in that area and representatives from relevant community interest groups.
(2) Where it appears to the Secretary of State that there is a need to establish a Council for an area other than that represented by a local authority with overview and scrutiny functions, he shall, after local consultation, establish a Council for such other area as appears to him will meet the needs of the local community.
(3) The functions of a Council are to represent the interests in the health service of the public in its district and in particular to—
(a) facilitate the co-ordination of the activities of member Patients' Forums including by the provision of staff and services to Patients' Forums,
(b) provide or make arrangements for the provision of services under section 19A of the NHS Act 1977 (independent advocacy services) at the direction of the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health,
(c) represent to persons and bodies which exercise functions in its area (including in particular the overview and scrutiny committees and the joint overview and scrutiny committees mentioned in sections 7, 8 and 10 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001) the views of members of the public in its area about matters affecting their health,
(d) advise the bodies mentioned in subsection (4) on involvement of the public in its area in consultations or processes leading (or potentially leading) to decisions by those bodies or the formulation of policies by them, which would or might affect (whether directly or not) the health of those members of the public, monitor the effectiveness of this involvement and co-operate with the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health in carrying out this function.
(4) The bodies referred to in subsection (3)(d) are—
(a) health service bodies,
(b) other public bodies, and
(c) others providing services to the public or a section of the public.
(5) The Secretary of State shall, following consultation with the Association of Community Health Councils for England and Wales, Community Health Councils, patients' and carers' organisations and the wider community, by regulation make provision in relation to Councils as to—
(a) the Patients' Forums and other community interest groups from which members of the Council are to be appointed,
(b) any qualification or disqualification from membership,
(c) terms of appointment,
(d) the proceedings of a Council,
(e) the discharge of any functions of a Council by a committee of the Council or by a joint committee appointed with another Council,
(f) the circumstances in which Councils will co-operate with each other in the exercise of their functions and exercise functions jointly with one or more other Councils,
(g) funding of Councils and the provision of staff, premises and other facilities,
(h) the preparation and publication by a Council of annual accounts,
(i) the provision of information (including descriptions of information which are or are not to be provided) to a Council by an NHS Trust, a Primary Care Trust, a Strategic Health Authority, the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health, the relevant local

15 Jan 2002 : Column 246

authorities or a person providing independent advocacy services (within the meaning given by section 19A of the NHS Act 1977),
(j) the provision of information by a Council to another person,
(k) the preparation and publication of reports by Councils,
(l) the furnishing and publication by NHS trusts, Primary Care Trusts, Strategic Health Authorities and Overview and Scrutiny Committees of comments on reports or recommendations of Councils, and
(m) the referral of matters of a prescribed description to any overview and scrutiny committee, the relevant Strategic Health Authority, the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health or the Secretary of State.
(6) The regulations shall include provision applying or corresponding to any provision of Part 5A of the Local Government Act 1970 (c.70) (access to meetings and documents).
(7) In section 21(10) of the Local Government Act 2000 (membership of overview and scrutiny committees) after the words "who are not members of the authority" there shall be inserted ("and shall include a person appointed by the relevant Patients' Council").
(8) In paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 to the Health Authorities Act 1995 as amended by this Act after "(c) a prescribed number of officers of the Health Authority" there shall be inserted—
"(d) persons appointed by the relevant Patients' Councils.".'.—[Mr. Hinchliffe.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Motion made, and Question put, That the clause be read a Second time:—

The House divided: Ayes 222, Noes 296.

Division No. 131
[9.14 pm


AYES


Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Allan, Richard
Amess, David
Ancram, Rt Hon Michael
Arbuthnot, Rt Hon James
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Austin, John
Bacon, Richard
Baker, Norman
Baldry, Tony
Barker, Gregory
Barnes, Harry
Baron, John
Barrett, John
Beggs, Roy
Bellingham, Henry
Bercow, John
Beresford, Sir Paul
Blunt, Crispin
Boswell, Tim
Brady, Graham
Brake, Tom
Brazier, Julian
Breed, Colin
Brooke, Mrs Annette L
Browning, Mrs Angela
Bruce, Malcolm
Burns, Simon
Burstow, Paul
Burt, Alistair
Butterfill, John
Cable, Dr Vincent
Calton, Mrs Patsy
Cameron, David
Carmichael, Alistair
Cash, William
Chapman, Sir Sydney
(Chipping Barnet)
Chope, Christopher
Clappison, James
Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth
(Rushcliffe)
Clifton–Brown, Geoffrey
Cohen, Harry
Collins, Tim
Conway, Derek
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cotter, Brian
Cousins, Jim
Cran, James
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Davis, Rt Hon David (Haltemprice)
Djanogly, Jonathan
Dorrell, Rt Hon Stephen
Doughty, Sue
Duncan, Alan (Rutland & Melton)
Duncan, Peter (Galloway)
Etherington, Bill
Evans, Nigel
Ewing, Annabelle
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Michael
Field, Rt Hon Frank (Birkenhead)
Field, Mark (Cities of London)
Flight, Howard
Forth, Rt Hon Eric
Foster, Don (Bath)
Fox, Dr Liam
Francois, Mark
Garnier, Edward
George, Andrew (St Ives)
Gerrard, Neil
Gibb, Nick
Gibson, Dr Ian
Gidley, Sandra
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Gray, James
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian (Ashford)
Green, Matthew (Ludlow)
Greenway, John
Grieve, Dominic
Hammond, Philip
Hancock, Mike
Harris, Dr Evan (Oxford W)
Harvey, Nick
Hawkins, Nick
Hayes, John
Heald, Oliver
Heath, David
Hermon, Lady
Hinchliffe, David
Hoban, Mark
Hoey, Kate
Holmes, Paul
Horam, John
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Hunter, Andrew
Jack, Rt Hon Michael
Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Jenkin, Bernard
Jones, Lynne (Selly Oak)
Key, Robert
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Kirkwood, Archy
Knight, Rt Hon Greg (E Yorkshire)
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lamb, Norman
Lansley, Andrew
Laws, David
Leigh, Edward
Letwin, Oliver
Lewis, Dr Julian (New Forest E)
Lewis, Terry (Worsley)
Liddell–Grainger, Ian
Lidington, David
Lilley, Rt Hon Peter
Llwyd, Elfyn
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
McIntosh, Miss Anne
MacKay, Rt Hon Andrew
Maclean, Rt Hon David
McLoughlin, Patrick
Malins, Humfrey
Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury)
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Marshall–Andrews, Robert
Mates, Michael
Mawhinney, Rt Hon Sir Brian
May, Mrs Theresa
Meale, Alan
Mercer, Patrick
Mitchell, Andrew (Sutton Coldfield)
Moore, Michael
Moss, Malcolm
Murrison, Dr Andrew
Naysmith, Dr Doug
Norman, Archie
Oaten, Mark
O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)
Öpik, Lembit
Osborne, George (Tatton)
Ottaway, Richard
Page, Richard
Paice, James
Paterson, Owen
Perham, Linda
Pickles, Eric
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Price, Adam
Prisk, Mark
Pugh, Dr John
Randall, John
Redwood, Rt Hon John
Reid, Alan (Argyll & Bute)
Rendel, David
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Angus (Moray)
Robertson, Hugh (Faversham)
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Robinson, Mrs Iris (Strangford)
Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)
Roe, Mrs Marion
Ruffley, David
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Salmond, Alex
Sanders, Adrian
Sayeed, Jonathan
Sedgemore, Brian
Selous, Andrew
Shephard, Rt Hon Mrs Gillian
Shepherd, Richard
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Simpson, Keith (Mid–Norfolk)
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns)
Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S)
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spink, Bob
Spring, Richard
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Steen, Anthony
Streeter, Gary
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Desmond
Swire, Hugo
Syms, Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, John (Solihull)
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Taylor, Dr Richard (Wyre F)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Tonge, Dr Jenny
Tredinnick, David
Trend, Michael
Trickett, Jon
Turner, Andrew (Isle of Wight)
Tyler, Paul
Viggers, Peter
Walter, Robert
Wareing, Robert N
Waterson, Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Webb, Steve
Weir, Michael
Whittingdale, John
Wiggin, Bill
Wilkinson, John
Williams, Hywel (Caernarfon)
Williams, Roger (Brecon)
Willis, Phil
Wilshire, David
Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Winterton, Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Wishart, Pete
Young, Rt Hon Sir George
Younger–Ross, Richard

Tellers for the Ayes:


Mr. Kelvin Hopkins and
John McDonnell.


NOES


Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Allen, Graham
Anderson, Rt Hon Donald
(Swansea E)
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale)
Armstrong, Rt Hon Ms Hilary
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Charlotte
Baird, Vera
Barron, Kevin
Battle, John
Bayley, Hugh
Beard, Nigel
Beckett, Rt Hon Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne
Bell, Stuart
Bennett, Andrew
Benton, Joe
Berry, Roger
Best, Harold
Blackman, Liz
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Boateng, Rt Hon Paul
Bradley, Rt Hon Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, Rt Hon Nicholas
(Newcastle E & Wallsend)
Bryant, Chris
Burgon, Colin
Cairns, David
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Caplin, Ivor
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Cawsey, Ian
Challen, Colin
Chaytor, David
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Mrs Helen (Peterborough)
Clark, Dr Lynda
(Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, Rt Hon Charles
(Norwich S)
Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clelland, David
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Corbyn, Jeremy
Corston, Jean
Cranston, Ross
Crausby, David
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Rt Hon Dr Jack
(Copeland)
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Curtis–Thomas, Mrs Claire
Dalyell, Tam
Darling, Rt Hon Alistair
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
David, Wayne
Davidson, Ian
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Davis, Rt Hon Terry
(B'ham Hodge H)
Dean, Mrs Janet
Denham, Rt Hon John
Dhanda, Parmjit
Dismore, Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Dobson, Rt Hon Frank
Donohoe, Brian H
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Edwards, Huw
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Ennis, Jeff
Farrelly, Paul
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Mrs Lorna
Flint, Caroline
Flynn, Paul
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)
Foulkes, George
Gardiner, Barry
George, Rt Hon Bruce (Walsall S)
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Roger
Goggins, Paul
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grogan, John
Hain, Rt Hon Peter
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Hanson, David
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Havard, Dai
Healey, John
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hesford, Stephen
Heyes, David
Hill, Keith
Hodge, Margaret
Hood, Jimmy
Hoon, Rt Hon Geoffrey
Hope, Phil
Howells, Dr Kim
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, Beverley (Stretford)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hutton, Rt Hon John
Iddon, Dr Brian
Illsley, Eric
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Johnson, Alan (Hull W & Hessle)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Kevan (N Durham)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Jowell, Rt Hon Tessa
Joyce, Eric
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Keen, Ann (Brentford & Isleworth)
Kemp, Fraser
Khabra, Piara S
Kidney, David
King, Andy (Rugby & Kenilworth)
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green)
Knight, Jim (S Dorset)
Kumar, Dr Ashok
Ladyman, Dr Stephen
Lammy, David
Lawrence, Mrs Jackie
Laxton, Bob
Lazarowicz, Mark
Leslie, Christopher
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Liddell, Rt Hon Mrs Helen
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony
Love, Andrew
Lucas, Ian
Luke, Iain
Lyons, John
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Stephen
McCafferty, Chris
McCartney, Rt Hon Ian
McDonagh, Siobhain
MacDonald, Calum
MacDougall, John
McFall, John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
Mackinlay, Andrew
McNamara, Kevin
McNulty, Tony
MacShane, Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWilliam, John
Mallaber, Judy
Mandelson, Rt Hon Peter
Mann, John
Marris, Rob
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Martlew, Eric
Meacher, Rt Hon Michael
Merron, Gillian
Michael, Rt Hon Alun
Milburn, Rt Hon Alan
Miliband, David
Miller, Andrew
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moonie, Dr Lewis
Moran, Margaret
Morgan, Julie
Morris, Rt Hon Estelle
Mullin, Chris
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Murphy, Rt Hon Paul (Torfaen)
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Hara, Edward
O'Neill, Martin
Organ, Diana
Osborne, George (Tatton)
Owen, Albert
Palmer, Dr Nick
Pearson, Ian
Picking, Anne
Pike, Peter
Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry
Pond, Chris
Pope, Greg
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prescott, Rt Hon John
Primarolo, Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purnell, James
Quin, Rt Hon Joyce
Rammell, Bill
Rapson, Syd
Raynsford, Rt Hon Nick
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Robertson, John
(Glasgow Anniesland)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Rooney, Terry
Ross, Ernie
Roy, Frank
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Ms Christine (Chester)
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mohammad
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Simon, Siôn
Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Smith, Rt Hon Chris (Islington S)
Smith, Geraldine (Morecambe)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, Rt Hon John
Squire, Rachel
Starkey, Dr Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stevenson, George
Stewart, David (Inverness E)
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stoate, Dr Howard
Strang, Rt Hon Dr Gavin
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Tami, Mark
Taylor, Rt Hon Ann (Dewsbury)
Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark
Touhig, Don
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Tynan, Bill
Vaz, Keith
Vis, Dr Rudi
Ward, Ms Claire
Watson, Tom
Watts, David
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, Rt Hon Alan
(Swansea W)
Williams, Mrs Betty (Conwy)
Winnick, David
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Wood, Mike
Woodward, Shaun
Woolas, Phil
Worthington, Tony
Wray, James
Wright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, David (Telford)

Tellers for the Noes:


Mr. Nick Ainger and
Dan Norris.

Question accordingly negatived.

15 Jan 2002 : Column 250

New Clause 10

The Commission for Health Improvement:amendment to section 20 of the Health Act 1999


'(1) Section 20 of the Health Act 1999 is amended as follows:—
(2) After paragraph (1) (e) there is inserted—
"(f) the function of conducting reviews of and making reports on the guidance on priorities for the NHS set out by the Secretary of State, regional directors of the health service, and Strategic Health Authorities"
(3) After subsection (1) there is inserted—
"(1A) in carrying out the functions set out in subsections 20(1)(a) to (e) the Commission shall, where appropriate, review, investigate and report on the guidance on priorities for the NHS set out by the Secretary of State, regional directors of the health service, and Strategic Health Authorities."
(4) Subsections (3) and (4) are repealed'.—[Dr. Evan Harris.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Motion made, and Question put, That the clause be read a Second time:—

The House divided: Ayes 52, Noes 326.


Next Section

IndexHome Page