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Health and Social Care (Safety and Quality) Bill

Volume 760: debated on Wednesday 18 March 2015



Moved by

My Lords, I hope your Lordships will allow me just one minute. I do not intend to oppose this Bill, but in Committee I expressed some concerns about the possible unintended consequences of Clause 1. In fact, I have withdrawn an amendment I had intended to move that would have tried to mitigate some of these consequences by pointing to a rather better way of avoiding harm to patients by proper education, training and supervision within hospitals and care homes which would lead to a continuing, progressive reduction in harm but without stifling innovation. I withdrew my amendment because I was told that I would cause the Bill to fall and I have no intention of doing that. But I do hope, at least, that the noble Earl will be able to offer some reassurances on the points that I have raised.

My Lords, I understand concerns that noble Lords have raised about the Bill potentially stifling innovation and openness. I assure noble Lords that this is in no way the intention of the Bill. Indeed, the Bill does not place any requirements on providers of healthcare and adult social care registered with the Care Quality Commission. This is achieved through regulations and the associated guidance issued by the CQC. My officials have been in contact with the Chief Inspector of Hospitals, who would be very happy to meet noble Lords to discuss the content of the guidance to ensure that the CQC’s approach to inspection supports continuing reductions in avoidable harm, innovation and supervision and training of staff.

Report received.