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Lord Hunt of Kings Heath moved Amendments Nos. 215 to 219:



    Page 39, line 39, at end insert--


"( ) For the purposes of subsection (6)--
(a) the Secretary of State may give directions to an NHS trust requiring it to make facilities or the services of persons available as mentioned there; but
(b) subsections (1) and (2) of section 27 above apply in relation to the services of such persons as they apply in relation to the services of officers to be made available by virtue of section 26 above by a Health Authority, Special Health Authority or Primary Care Trust." Page 40, line 16, at end insert "on terms to be determined by him"


    Page 40, line 19, leave out "The terms of appointment of the other members, and"


    Page 40, line 20, leave out "they" and insert "the other members"

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Earl Howe moved Amendment No. 220:


    Page 40, line 32, leave out from "services" to end of line 34 and insert--


"(aa) medical practitioner performing personal medical services under section 28C arrangements;"

The noble Earl said: As introduced in the other place, paragraph 6(a) of Schedule 9A, which deals with the constitution of the FHSAA, read that the members must include at least one,


    "medical practitioner providing general medical services".

An amendment was tabled in Committee that GPs providing personal medical services should also be represented on the new appeals authority. That was accepted by the Minister. However, when tabled at the remaining stages in the Commons, the government amendment made the situation worse. I believe strongly that the two categories of GPs--namely, those providing general medical services and those

22 Mar 2001 : Column 1566

providing personal medical services--should both have representation on the appeals authority. The way that the paragraph now reads, it will be either one or the other category. We could end up with a situation where a GP providing personal medical services is represented, while a GP providing general medical services--that is, someone who would be representing the majority of GPs--is not represented. I believe that there is an urgent need to correct this anomaly. I beg to move.

Lord Clement-Jones: I should like to speak briefly to Amendments Nos. 221 and 222 in this grouping. Paragraph 6 of Schedule 9A does not specify the precise intention so far as concerns lay representation. Amendment No. 221 proposes that that representation should be equivalent to at least 50 per cent of the total membership of the FHSAA. I do not know why the Government have chosen such a terrible acronym; it is very difficult to pronounce. In our view, the right level of lay representation would be at least 50 per cent. I shall be interested to learn the Minister's view on that.

As regards the annual report of the FHSAA, the Bill currently specifies that the body is entitled to publish only some of its cases. We, along with others, would prefer the FHSAA to publish all its case reports in an anonymous form. Amendment No. 222 is designed to achieve that.

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: I appreciate the aims of each of the amendments in this group, certainly so far as concerns Amendment No. 220. I understand clearly what the noble Earl seeks to achieve here. However, I want to make the point that the FHSAA will not be a representative body. What we are trying to achieve is to ensure that its members and panels have the expertise and experience relevant to the profession of the person who is making the appeal. I think that it is right that we should refer to PMS and GMS general practitioners alongside each other, but I do not believe that, ultimately, it matters one jot whether medical practitioners serving on the authority or the panels are GMS or PMS doctors. The fact is that they will be doctors with good experience of medical practice.

I can assure the noble Earl that we shall want to ensure that there is a good balance of professional members of the authority, including a mix of both GMS and PMS GPs. However, we are reluctant to go down the path of specifying each and every potential variation of primary healthcare worker.

I am sympathetic to the noble Lord's intention in tabling Amendment No. 221. The problem is that each additional separate category of professional member would require a corresponding increase in lay members. I believe that if we were to accept the amendment it would cause practical difficulties for my noble and learned friend the Lord Chancellor. In practice, even counting legal lay members as lay members, we expect that a majority of the authority's members will need to be professional. That is because the members represent the pool from which panels will be drawn to hear individual cases.

22 Mar 2001 : Column 1567

There are four categories of professions within the purview of the authority. Because of that, it seems inevitable that the pool of authority members from whom panels will be drawn will have to include a majority of professionals. But the point is that the authority will not be professionally dominated, because professional membership of each panel will be limited to one.

Amendment No. 222 relates to the requirements in paragraphs 12 and 13 of new Schedule 9A to publish decisions on national disqualification or removal or contingent removal from a health authority list and such other decisions as may be prescribed. I should have thought that that covered the point raised by the noble Lord. I believe that it is an appropriate way for the authority to report its decisions as part of its report on its activities over the year, which will be set out in its annual report. That is provided for in paragraph 19. Sub-paragraph (1) in particular provides for the Secretary of State to specify the topics to be covered in the report. I can confirm that we intend to require the details specified in the noble Lord's amendment to be among the matters on which the authority will report. We simply believe that it is more appropriate to leave such matters to directions rather than place them on the face of the Bill.

Lord Clement-Jones: Perhaps I may reply briefly to the Minister's helpful statement on Amendment No. 222. I thank him for a very useful response. As regards Amendment No. 221, we should hate to cause difficulties for the noble and learned Lord the Lord Chancellor--even though they are only mild difficulties.

As I understand the Minister, he is saying that although he cannot quite comply with the requirements set out in the amendment for lay representation of 50 per cent or over on the authority, the panel will have an overwhelming proportion of lay members. Am I correct?

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: I refer the noble Lord to paragraph 10 on page 41 of the Bill, which relates to panels which hear appeals or national disqualifications. The panel will be split into three: one lawyer, one professional and one lay member.

Lord Clement-Jones: I thank the Minister. I am somewhat horrified, speaking as a lawyer, that the FHSAA will be stacked with legal members, and that the panels will also have a very high legal preponderance. I dare say that is the way of the world and one has to accept it. However, I urge the Minister to seek to provide the maximum lay representation both on the authority and on the panels.

Earl Howe: I must say that that was one of the Minister's less convincing answers, however emollient he contrived to sound in delivering it. The FHSAA may not be a completely representative body; however, I do not think that what he said accords with the undertaking given in another place. Although this

22 Mar 2001 : Column 1568

is a point of detail, it is a point of principle too, because it concerns a ministerial undertaking. I should like to test the opinion of the Committee.

5.4 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 220) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 79; Not-Contents, 104.

Division No. 1

CONTENTS

Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Anelay of St Johns, B.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Baker of Dorking, L.
Biffen, L.
Blaker, L.
Blatch, B.
Boardman, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Burnham, L. [Teller]
Byford, B.
Caithness, E.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Colwyn, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L.
Courtown, E.
Cox, B.
Craigavon, V.
Cranborne, V.
Crickhowell, L.
Cumberlege, B.
Denham, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Flather, B.
Freeman, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Geddes, L.
Glenarthur, L.
Glentoran, L.
Hanham, B.
Hanningfield, L.
Hayhoe, L.
Henley, L. [Teller]
Higgins, L.
Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.
Hooper, B.
Howe, E.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Kingsland, L.
Laing of Dunphail, L.
Lyell, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
Mancroft, L.
Marlesford, L.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Moynihan, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Naseby, L.
Noakes, B.
Norton of Louth, L.
O'Cathain, B.
Onslow, E.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Patten, L.
Perry of Southwark, B.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Prior, L.
Rawlings, B.
Reay, L.
Rees, L.
Renton, L.
Renton of Mount Harry, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Selsdon, L.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Strathclyde, L.
Swinfen, L.
Taylor of Warwick, L.
Tebbit, L.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Trefgarne, L.
Trumpington, B.
Tugendhat, L.
Vivian, L.
Young, B.

NOT-CONTENTS

Acton, L.
Ahmed, L.
Alli, L.
Amos, B.
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Bach, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Berkeley, L.
Billingham, B.
Borrie, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Bruce of Donington, L.
Burlison, L.
Carter, L. [Teller]
Castle of Blackburn, B.
Christopher, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
Colville of Culross, V.
Craig of Radley, L.
Currie of Marylebone, L.
David, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Desai, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Elder, L.
Evans of Watford, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Gale, B.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Gilbert, L.
Goldsmith, L.
Grabiner, L.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Grenfell, L.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Haskel, L.
Healey, L.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Chesterton, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jay of Paddington, B. (Lord Privy Seal)
Jeger, B.
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Layard, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Levy, L.
Lipsey, L.
Longford, E.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller]
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
Mallalieu, B.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Mishcon, L.
Molloy, L.
Molyneaux of Killead, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Northfield, L.
Paul, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Puttnam, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Richard, L.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
Sawyer, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Shepherd, L.
Shore of Stepney, L.
Simon, V.
Slim, V.
Smith of Leigh, L.
Strange, B.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Turnberg, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Walton of Detchant, L.
Warner, L.
Weatherill, L.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L.
Williamson of Horton, L.
Winston, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

22 Mar 2001 : Column 1569

5.15 p.m.

[Amendments Nos. 221 and 222 not moved.]


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