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Baroness Masham of Ilton: My Lords, I am pleased that the Government have listened and have moved a bit on foundation hospitals and patients' forums. As there are so many changes and new bodies in the National Health Service, I ask the Minister to spell out what patients' forums will do. There is confusion on so many bodies at the moment.

Lord Warner: My Lords, on the last point, I can say that, under foundation trusts, patients' forums will do the same job as they do under the existing arrangements. There is no change in their functions. They will continue the functions that they have performed under an NHS trust, when that trust becomes an NHS foundation trust.

In response to the point made by the noble Earl, I say that, together, the amendments achieve the transfer of the patients' forum. We disagree with his view that they do not. I am happy to consider the point again with parliamentary counsel to ensure that the amendments achieve the purpose that we said they would achieve. It was my intention, in approving the amendments, that they should achieve that purpose. There would be no point in our making elaborate arrangements for possible dissolution, if we had not ensured that they would continue when the NHS trust became an NHS foundation trust. I hope that, with that reassurance, the noble Earl will accept that we have endeavoured to do that.

We think that some of the remarks made by the noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, are a bit harsh. If we examine the detail of what we have provided, we will see that there is a high threshold for getting rid of a patients' forum through a foundation trust. We have required a 75 per cent vote at a meeting of the board of governors. That is a fairly high threshold. The

10 Nov 2003 : Column 1096

governors must be satisfied that there is alternative provision that satisfactorily carries out the functions of a patients' forum. There will have to be powerful evidence that an alternative to the patients' forum can be provided, and the vote must pass the 75 per cent threshold that we have specified.

Lord Skelmersdale: My Lords, is the noble Lord withdrawing the amendment, so that we can go back to it at Third Reading? Is he going to consider it again between now and Third Reading? This is Report, and I do not believe that he will be able to consider the amendment again, if we agree it now.

Lord Warner: My Lords, I am sorry if I have misled the House. I have absolute confidence in our amendments. I thought that I had moved the amendment earlier. For the avoidance of doubt, I beg to move.

3.25 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 245) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 106; Not-Contents, 127.

Division No. 1

CONTENTS

Acton, L.
Ahmed, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Amos, B. (Lord President)
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashley of Stoke, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Berkeley, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Blackstone, B.
Borrie, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Campbell-Savours, L.
Carter, L.
Chorley, L.
Christopher, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Colville of Culross, V.
Corbett of Castle Vale, L.
Craig of Radley, L.
Crawley, B.
Davies of Oldham, L. [Teller]
Derby, Bp.
Desai, L.
Dixon, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Eatwell, L.
Elder, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Evans of Watford, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Fitt, L.
Gale, B.
Gavron, L.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Golding, B.
Goldsmith, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Greengross, B.
Gregson, L.
Grocott, L. [Teller]
Hannay of Chiswick, L.
Harrison, L.
Haskel, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Howarth of Breckland, B.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Joffe, L.
Jones, L.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lipsey, L.
Lockwood, B.
Lucas, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Mitchell, L.
Morgan, L.
Morris of Aberavon, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Ouseley, L.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Paul, L.
Ponsonby of Shulbrede, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Richard, L.
Rooker, L.
Sheldon, L.
Simon, V.
Stallard, L.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Tanlaw, L.
Tenby, V.
Tomlinson, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Warner, L.
Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.

NOT-CONTENTS

Addington, L.
Alexander of Weedon, L.
Arran, E.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Avebury, L.
Barker, B.
Biffen, L.
Blatch, B.
Boothroyd, B.
Bowness, L.
Bradshaw, L.
Bridgeman, V.
Brigstocke, B.
Brittan of Spennithorne, L.
Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Byford, B.
Caithness, E.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Clement-Jones, L. [Teller]
Cope of Berkeley, L.
Crickhowell, L.
Cuckney, L.
Cumberlege, B.
Dholakia, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Dundee, E.
Eden of Winton, L.
Elles, B.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Emerton, B.
Ezra, L.
Falkland, V.
Feldman, L.
Finlay of Llandaff, B.
Fookes, B.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Garel-Jones, L.
Gilmour of Craigmillar, L.
Glentoran, L.
Goodhart, L.
Gray of Contin, L.
Griffiths of Fforestfach, L.
Hanham, B.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Hayhoe, L.
Henley, L.
Higgins, L.
Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.
Holme of Cheltenham, L.
Howe, E.
Howe of Aberavon, L.
Howe of Idlicote, B.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Jeger, B.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Kimball, L.
Laing of Dunphail, L.
Liverpool, E.
Lyell, L.
Macfarlane of Bearsden, L.
MacGregor of Pulham Market, L.
Mackay of Clashfern, L.
Masham of Ilton, B.
Mayhew of Twysden, L.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Montrose, D.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Moynihan, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Newby, L.
Noakes, B.
Northesk, E.
Northover, B.
O'Cathain, B.
Onslow, E.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Parkinson, L.
Perry of Southwark, B.
Peyton of Yeovil, L.
Phillips of Sudbury, L.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Plumb, L.
Quinton, L.
Rawlings, B.
Razzall, L.
Reay, L.
Redesdale, L.
Rees, L.
Rees-Mogg, L.
Rennard, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Roll of Ipsden, L.
Roper, L.
Russell-Johnston, L.
Scott of Needham Market, B.
Seccombe, B.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Skelmersdale, L. [Teller]
Slim, V.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Steel of Aikwood, L.
Strathclyde, L.
Swinfen, L.
Taverne, L.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Tope, L.
Tordoff, L.
Trefgarne, L.
Trumpington, B.
Vivian, L.
Wade of Chorlton, L.
Wakeham, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walmsley, B.
Walpole, L.
Warnock, B.
Weatherill, L.
Wigoder, L.
Wilcox, B.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

10 Nov 2003 : Column 1098

3.37 p.m.

Lord Clement-Jones moved Amendments Nos. 246 and 247:


    Page 13, line 22, leave out subsection (2) and insert—


"(2) In section 15 (establishment of patients' forums) in subsection (1), after paragraph (b) there is inserted "and
(c) for each foundation trust."" Page 13, line 29, after "reports)" insert—


"(a) in subsection (2)(c)(ii) after "NHS trust" there is inserted "or foundation trust";"

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Lord Warner had given notice of his intention to move Amendment No. 248:


    Page 13, line 32, at end insert—


"( ) After section 18 there is inserted—
"18A POWER OF NHS FOUNDATION TRUSTS TO DISSOLVE PATIENTS' FORUM
(1) Subsection (2) applies where the board of governors of an NHS foundation trust is satisfied that adequate arrangements are in place to secure the performance of functions corresponding to those of the Patients' Forum for that trust.
(2) The board may pass a resolution to dissolve the Patients' Forum with effect from a specified date.
(3) The date so specified must be not less than three months after the date on which the resolution is passed.
(4) The resolution must be passed at a general meeting by not less than three quarters of the members of the board.
(5) Before passing a resolution, the board must consult the members of the trust and its Patients' Forum.
(6) The board may not pass a resolution until the end of the period of twelve months beginning with the date of the trust's authorisation to become an NHS foundation trust.""

Lord Clement-Jones: My Lords, different considerations apply to the later amendments. On these Benches, we would not wish to move amendments in priority to government amendments. We would appreciate it if the Minister would move his amendments formally, to determine what the House might do in those circumstances.


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