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Baroness Robson of Kiddington: My Lords, on behalf of these Benches, I welcome the passing of this Bill. It has been of great comfort to all of us who are interested in it that it has support on all sides of the House, and also that it originated from the General Medical Council itself. I add my congratulations to Sir Robert Kilpatrick for the great work that he did in getting this Bill placed before the House.

I agree with the noble Baroness, Lady Jay: we are sad that we were not able to resolve the problem of who pays for a general practitioner's retraining. However, you cannot win all the time. I thank the Minister particularly for the way in which she guided the Bill through this House. She is always patient, even when she cannot give us what we want.

I should particularly like to thank her for the long letter that she wrote to me in reply to the point that I raised on Report about the interval that ensues after a doctor has been in front of the Professional Conduct Committee and before he can be brought before the Professional Performance Committee. I quite understand what she says—that the matter would then have to go back to the assessment committee and the doctor would have to be given another 28 days' notice of a meeting. I understand from her letter that the rules of the GMC will make certain that he can go from the Professional Conduct Committee direct to the screener for the Professional Performance Committee. That ought to make the hiatus between the two hearings shorter. When there is something wrong with a doctor's performance, I was concerned that he should be allowed to practise for a fairly lengthy time before coming before the Professional Performance Committee. So I am pleased that the time has been shortened.

I should like to join in thanking the noble Baroness the Minister very much for the way in which she has conducted the passage of the Bill. I wish it well.

On Question, Bill read a third time, and passed, and returned to the Commons with amendments.

1 Nov 1995 : Column 1494


Civil Evidence Bill [H.L.]

Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Bill [H.L.]

Criminal Procedure (Consequential Provisions) (Scotland) Bill [H.L.]

Law Reform (Succession) Bill [H.L.]

Private International Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill [H.L.]

Proceeds of Crime (Scotland) Bill [H.L.]

Statute Law (Repeals) Bill [H.L.]

Returned from the Commons agreed to.

Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Bill [H.L.]

Returned from the Commons agreed to with an amendment; the Commons amendment ordered to be printed.

Disability Discrimination Bill

Returned from the Commons with certain amendments agreed to, with other amendments agreed to with amendments, and with the remaining amendment disagreed to with a reason for such disagreement; the Commons reason and amendments ordered to be printed.

        House adjourned at nineteen minutes before eight o'clock.


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