Lib Dem Peers urge rewrite of the Health and Social Care Bill

by Steve Beasant on February 27, 2012

The BBC is reporting that there is a new challenge to the Governments’ NHS reforms; this time it comes from a group of Liberal Democrat Peers in the House of Lords who are launching a new attempt to rewrite the government’s controversial plans for the NHS in England.

The BBC reports:

The peers have drawn up amendments to the Health and Social Care Bill, which returns to the Lords for debate later.

They want to scrap plans to allow the Competition Commission to review the development of competition in the NHS.

One source told the BBC that ministers were not minded to accept the requests for changes to the bill.

BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins said the source told him that ministers would not lose sleep over the proposed changes.

The government says its plans will modernise the NHS, improve services and reinvest savings in front line care.

The Health and Social Care Bill gives GPs control of much of the NHS budget and would open up the health service to greater competition from the private and voluntary sector.

It has completed its Commons stages but is having a difficult passage through the House of Lords and is being opposed by many groups representing medical professionals.

‘Drop the bill’

Liberal Democrat concerns about the government’s plans for the NHS in England helped lead to a pause in the health bill’s progress, and plenty of amendments.

Last week the party’s president Tim Farron called for the whole section dealing with increased competition to be dropped.

Now, the party’s peers also want a requirement put in place for Foundation Trusts to get permission from their governors before carrying out extra private work.

Our correspondent said the Lib Dem leadership was expected to seek support for those changes in the Lords and the Commons…

On Sunday Lord Crisp, a former NHS chief, said the bill was a “mess” and would “set the NHS back”.

To read the full article on the BBC website, view HERE.

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