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Many, many people are afraid to be complainants in court when they have to make public allegations against their neighbours and against people who have made their lives an absolute misery. We are saying that prosecutions under the public order legislation and the Protection from Harassment Act have their place. But this is prior to that. I repeat that it is to endeavour to safeguard the vulnerable in our society, those who have their lives made a daily misery. I regret to say that at the moment our law does not protect them. Therefore, this is a much more considered remedy for a real social evil.
Lord Henley: I understand that we are not going as far as the criminal law in this case, although the noble Lord will appreciate that the penalties can be severe. Nevertheless, the words to be used are exactly the same and refer to causing "harassment, alarm or distress". That seems to imply that the same activities are being covered by both. That is why I have considerable doubts and why I wish to return to this matter either in our further deliberations on the clause or at a later stage of the Bill. As I made clear, at this stage I do not intend to press this matter to a Division, but it will require further thought. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: I beg to move that the House do now resume, bearing in mind the indication that we had earlier from the Chief Whip that at a convenient time to your Lordships, a Statement would be repeated.
Baroness Jay of Paddington: My Lords, with the leave of the House, I should like to repeat a Statement on the future of London's health services being made in another place by my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Health. The Statement is as follows:
"On 20th June last year, just seven weeks after coming to office, I announced that a swift and independent review of London's health needs was to be carried out by a distinguished panel chaired by Sir Leslie Turnberg, then President of the Royal College
"Since then the review panel has done a remarkable job. It has reviewed all the evidence, consulted widely and carried out a large number of meetings and visits. The panel received and considered over 1,800 responses from local people and organisations. It submitted its report on 18th November. Since then it has been considered very carefully by the Government. We have been faced with some tough decisions.
"Today, seven months after the panel was established, I am publishing the report of the independent review panel, the Turnberg Report. I am also publishing the Government's response. The Turnberg Report spells out a clear set of recommendations for the improvement of health services in London. I am glad to be able to announce that the Government accept all its recommendations. Many are in line with our proposals in the New NHS White Paper for a 10-year general improvement programme to make the NHS modern and dependable. All are accepted by the Government and the necessary further work necessary is already being put in hand.
"The report recognises that in many parts of London, particularly in the most deprived areas, primary care, mental health, intermediate care and community services are simply not up to the standard to which everyone in our country is entitled. It proposes a range of measures to bring things up to scratch. We will be providing an additional investment of at least £140 million in these services for London over the lifetime of this Parliament. An extra £30 million will be targeted on these services in the coming financial year.
"The report recognises the need for new arrangements to ensure a London-wide strategy for health and proposes as a medium-term aim a single NHS regional office for London. Without London-wide strategies and action, the necessary improvements in mental health services and the proper integration of services for children and other people will be hard to achieve, if not impossible.
'there are more acute hospital beds available to Londoners than the English average'.
"The review panel was asked to look at the plans of London NHS trusts and health authorities, including their plans for capital developments. It was asked in particular to advise on the future of Queen Mary's
"For these purposes the panel reviewed London hospital provision in terms of five sectors covering north, south-east, south-west, west and east London respectively. It faced some awkward choices and made some tough recommendations. The Government have made similarly hard-headed decisions.
"For north London, the panel said that a new hospital building was sorely needed to bring together University College Hospital, the Middlesex Hospital, the Hospital for Tropical Diseases and the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital for Women. This would provide top quality local and specialist services with academic and research facilities shared with University College nearby. As Secretary of State--and as the local MP--my right honourable friend warmly endorsed that proposal.
"The panel also recommend urgent capital investment at the Whittington Hospital. We will invite plans for such improvements. The need for swift action is understood. But it will take time to carry out all the necessary evaluations before work can proceed.
"For south-east London, the panel endorsed the proposal to build the new Queen Elizabeth hospital at Greenwich through the private finance initiative. It also supported the proposals for further improvements to King's College Hospital on the Denmark Hill site.
"The panel considered the proposal to close the accident and emergency unit at Guy's Hospital. It called for a re-evaluation of the proposed closure to ensure that the alternative services will be able to cope. This evaluation has taken place. Additional A&E capacity is already in place at King's and Lewisham Hospitals. The situation will continue to be closely monitored in the lead-up to the closure of the Guy's A&E department and beyond. Contingency plans will be put in place to provide additional services if patient numbers are higher than expected.
"The panel also called for a re-evaluation of the proposed shift of other services from Guy's to St. Thomas's to ensure that the best use is made of some of the facilities at Guy's which on present plans would be vacated. That is likely to keep more services at Guy's than was planned by the previous government.
"In south-west London the panel favoured plans for investment in the development of a community hospital on the site of Queen Mary's Roehampton. This means the replacement of acute services currently provided at Queen Mary's by improved alternative acute services at Kingston Hospital and at St. George's. The Government accept this proposal.
"It was in east London that the panel faced the most difficult problems. It was asked to consider proposals involving the future of Harold Wood and Oldchurch Hospitals. It supports the development of a new hospital at Oldchurch, rather than at Harold Wood, to provide the full range of services for this area, not least because this is where the majority of the population live, including those with the greatest health needs. Like all other new reconfiguration proposals, this proposal will be the subject of local consultation.
"For the East End the panel recommended a package of measures to counter the deprivation and ill health of many of the local people. It proposes investment in intermediate and community services. It also proposes the full utilisation of beds at the Homerton and Newham Hospitals and new investment at Newham.
"The panel endorses the proposal to rebuild the Royal London Hospital at Whitechapel but with 900 beds rather than the 1,100 in the current stalled plans for that re-development. These have been difficult decisions.
"That leads me on to the future of St. Bartholomew's Hospital. The Turnberg Report recommends that Bart's should not close. The Government agree. Bart's will be saved. We will not countenance the closure of that great hospital which has served the people of London for 875 years.
"During the time the new Royal London Hospital is being built and other hospital developments are taking place in east London, Bart's will continue in its present role. When that period comes to a close, in line with the proposals of the Turnberg Report, Bart's will concentrate its renowned specialist expertise with a focus on cancer and cardiac services.
"We owe a great debt to Sir Leslie Turnberg and his colleagues for both their work and their wisdom. I believe that the Turnberg Report will prove to be a far-reaching and far-sighted plan for the improvement of health services in London. The Turnberg proposals have the backing of the Government. They have the personal backing of the Prime Minister. They will provide a firm foundation for a 10-year programme to provide London with a modern and dependable health service. That programme paves the way for the investment of well over £800 million to provide London's health service with the fine modern buildings that both patients and staff deserve, with support for primary care and mental health of at least £140 million. That is a £1 billion boost for London.
"By accepting all its recommendations the Government have turned this excellent report into an action plan to modernise London's health service. From today we will be mobilising all those who care about London's health services, not just the people who work in the NHS but also people in local government and universities, scientists and other researchers, people in business, patient groups and local people, mobilising them to work together systematically to deliver the improvements that we all want to see year by year. That is what the Turnberg Report recommends. That is no more than Londoners deserve. The chattering times are over. The time for action has come".
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