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NHS (Charitable Trusts Etc) Bill

Volume 769: debated on Friday 26 February 2016

Second Reading

Moved by

My Lords, it is a great pleasure to sponsor this Bill and present it to your Lordships today and seek your support. It is an honour to follow the passage of the Bill in another place, where there was unanimous and enthusiastic support. The debates were led ably and sympathetically by Wendy Morton, MP for Aldridge-Brownhills. It is entirely appropriate that a Bill involving Peter Pan should be introduced by an MP called Wendy. I thank the Minister and Wendy Morton for meeting me, and Department of Health officials for their excellent guidance. I thank also Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Association of NHS Charities for their help. Most importantly, I thank the Library for its most useful briefing pack.

I very much look forward to the maiden speech of the noble Lord, Lord Bird. We have discussed the Bill and I know that he is committed to its principles. I also look forward to the Minister’s response. I know that he has connections of long standing with Great Ormond Street. I am delighted that my noble friend Lady Blackstone is taking part today. She has been significant in ensuring that issues relating to NHS trusts are reconsidered. She is of course now the chair of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust.

The Bill may seem complex but it is, in fact, fairly simple and its aims are clear. It seeks to do two things. First, it makes provision to remove the Secretary of State’s powers to appoint trustees for NHS charities linked to NHS bodies in England, and makes consequential amendments to the removal of those powers. Secondly, it makes provision to amend sections of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to transfer to the new Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, to be known as GOSH, the right to a royalty in relation to performances or publications of the play “Peter Pan”. There are other related and transitional provisions.

At the moment, the right is in the hands of special trustees appointed by the Secretary of State, and I will go into this in greater detail in a moment. It is worth adding that when the NHS was established there was no Charity Commission, and structures for charities were quite different. All that we seek now is a level playing field to improve the ability of charities to work more efficiently to raise money and spend it to the advantage of children, in the case of Great Ormond Street, and of clients generally.

Noble Lords will know that JM Barrie, the author of “Peter Pan”, made a bequest in 1929 to Great Ormond Street Hospital so that it might benefit from royalties. As I reread “Peter Pan” over the weekend I realised that it is actually a political thriller, set largely in Neverland and full of idealism, revenge, rescue and battles. We probably have a number of potential cast members here today. Who would play Peter Pan, who Wendy and who the Lost Boys? Would the Minister fancy himself as Captain Hook? Will Tinker Bell suddenly alight on the Dispatch Box? How would the doorkeepers deal with the ticking crocodile?

I shall not go into the Bill in minute detail—noble Lords will be aware of its implications—but I shall set out the main thrusts. I shall give a brief history and then look at the policy issues for the two components of the Bill. First, I shall discuss issues relating to the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, GOSH. Since 1929, Sir James Barrie’s gift has provided a great deal of income to the charity, which, as we all know, provides superb services for sick children and their families.

In 1987, the former Prime Minister Lord Callaghan successfully proposed an amendment to the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, giving the charity the unique rights to royalties from the publication or performance of “Peter Pan” in perpetuity. However, there were problems, and my noble friend Lady Blackstone raised the need to amend legislation to benefit from the Barrie bequest during the passage of the Deregulation Act 2015. The Government agreed to introduce legislation, which is what the Bill is all about. The problem is that the so-called Peter Pan rights are vested in special trustees appointed under NHS legislation for Great Ormond Street Hospital. The Department of Health made an agreement with the hospital whereby the existing NHS charity transferred most of its undertaking to an independent charitable company limited by guarantee. That new company was also appointed as corporate special trustee of the existing NHS charity under the Act in 2006.

At present, the GOSH charity is unable to fully complete the conversion to an independent charity as the NHS charity has to be kept in existence until the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act is amended. This complication, according to GOSH, presents a huge risk that legacies to the charity may fail, thus significant charitable donations could be lost to the provision of healthcare at Great Ormond Street Hospital. I know that the GOSH charity has adopted a five-year strategy, aiming to raise £500 million in that period to benefit patients, their families, the hospital and research. If the Bill were not passed, the charity would not be able to complete its move to independence. The hospital would therefore have to run two charities, one the independent arm and the other the existing one, into which royalties from “Peter Pan” would be transferred. This is clearly a waste of time, energy and money, with more duplication of effort and more bureaucracy. That is why the Bill is so important.

I will now briefly go into issues for NHS charities in general. NHS charities are those regulated by charity law but which are linked to NHS bodies and bound by NHS legislation. They are charitable trusts. Their trustees are an NHS body such as a foundation trust, or trustees appointed by the Secretary of State for an NHS body. The Secretary of State has statutory powers to transfer trust property held by NHS charities. Such charities are distinct from independent charities established solely under charity law, and funds donated to the NHS must be held separately from Exchequer funding provided by the taxpayer. NHS bodies can hold properties on trust for any purpose relating to the health service. Charitable funds can be held by NHS trusts, special health authorities, foundation trusts, clinical commissioning groups and NHS England. Boards act as corporate trustees of the charitable funds.

Since 1973, the Secretary of State has had powers to appoint special trustees to manage charitable property on behalf of hospital boards. In 1990, powers for the Secretary of State to appoint trustees to NHS trusts were enacted and are now extended to other NHS bodies, as set out in the National Health Service Act 2006. The NHS Trust Development Authority oversees the appointment and removal of trustees. Separate trustees can be appointed if a business case can be made. The situation, as noble Lords will see, has become complex and somewhat unwieldy.

In 2011, the Department of Health conducted a review and consultation on NHS charities. In consequence of this review, the department announced its intention to allow NHS charities to move, with safeguards, to independent status and be regulated by the Charity Commission. There is detailed guidance on this, which I will not go into.

The bottom line of the Bill is that the Secretary of State will no longer appoint trustees, although he or she can, by order, appoint trustees to hold trust property in respect of certain NHS bodies. Clause 1 sets out the removal of the Secretary of State’s powers; Clause 2(1) discusses supplementary provision; Clause 3 discusses the transfer of the rights to the royalties from the play “Peter Pan”; Clauses 4, 5 and 6 detail the extent, commencement and the Title of the Bill; and there are two schedules. Thus, although the Bill is short, it is significant. It will sweep away bureaucracy, clarify and simplify the position of trustees and NHS charities and will give charities more freedom to operate.

In the film “Peter Pan”, Peter Pan says:

“To live will be an awfully big adventure”.

The Bill will ensure that trusts, such as the Great Ormond Street Hospital trust, are freed from undue bureaucracy to spend more of their charitable donations on patients and, we hope, allow more children to live for that big adventure. I recommend the Bill to your Lordships, I thank all noble Lords who have stayed for this Friday session, and I look forward to their speeches and to the Minister’s reply. I beg to move.

My Lords, I have very little to add to that extremely eloquent and clear speech, which sets out precisely what the Bill is about and why it is so important. Indeed, the Bill is sensible, practical, simplifying, and in essence we should just get on with it in your Lordships’ House. However, I will say a little about NHS charities and their importance, although I will not detain your Lordships’ House for too long.

All of us in this House will be familiar with the work of some of these charities and the way in which they provide facilities; however, they are also able to do things which the NHS cannot do as regards making improvement and change. I will pick out three particular areas. Charities can very often fund innovation in ways which the public sector cannot always do. Secondly, they can support staff, which is incredibly important, particularly at times like now, when the NHS is under such pressure; and they can also do what the great charity across the water from us here, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, does, which is not just to look at the hospital but at the community itself as well, to develop and support innovation and community service. Those are all ways in which charities have modernised and innovated in recent years, and this Bill is very important in bringing about less bureaucracy and more scope for them to do those things.

There is one other way in which charities are moving in this direction globally, nationally and, I hope, within the NHS. When I am not in your Lordships’ House, I am quite often engaged in development activities in Africa. We are very well aware that charities are extremely important in Africa, but alongside those charities it is equally important to enable people, giving them the tools to look after themselves and develop their own solutions to their problems. I hope that in future NHS charities will go even further by developing the way in which they help the NHS to adjust during this current massive period of change.

I am delighted that my noble friend Lord Bird is to speak in this debate. I wonder whether he will have something to say about the very important question of how people can do things for themselves rather than just rely on charity. I think that the two things go together. This Bill will be a great help in ensuring that NHS charities have the freedom to use their imagination and creativity to support the development of health and social care in this country.

My Lords, I declare an interest as the chairman of the Great Ormond Street Hospital board, and I want to give the reassurance that I am not Captain Hook in disguise.

I thank my noble friend Lady Massey of Darwen for taking forward this Private Member’s Bill in this House. I especially thank Wendy Morton, the Member of Parliament for Aldridge-Brownhills, for introducing the Bill in the House of Commons and for her very hard work in helping the passage of the Bill through the other place.

In advance of what the Minister is to say, I also thank him and the Government for their support for the Bill. I say that in particular since, as my noble friend Lady Massey of Darwen has already said, back in 2014 I attempted to make an amendment to the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, but without success. So it is a great pleasure that it looks as though as we are going to be successful today.

I want to say a little bit—I feel that I am obliged to do so and I want to do so—about the enormous value of the charity to the hospital’s work. It cannot be overstated. I thank the charity and its special trustees for the enormous amount of hard work that they put in to raise funds. Its current strategy is to try to raise £500 million over the next five years, and I want to say a bit about how vital this is by giving a few examples of the support that the charity gives the hospital.

We are now working to complete what will be called the Premier Inn Clinical Building. It will fit seamlessly with the Morgan Stanley Clinical Building, which was opened in June 2012, to complete what we call our Mittal Children’s Medical Centre. It is truly state of the art. It houses a new surgery centre, a high-specification respiratory ward and a high-dependency area, where the most unwell children can be carefully helped back to better health. The cost to deliver this is scheduled to be around £300 million, and the charity is still working to raise the final amount to make that happen.

Research is absolutely fundamental to everything that a hospital like Great Ormond Street does. If we have to be innovative, we have to be not just the hospital that does research but a research hospital. I shall give one example, which had some publicity last year, of a world first. One year-old Layla was cured of her leukaemia thanks to a gene editing technique developed and used by Professor Waseem Qasim. He designed a new treatment that uses what are called molecular scissors to edit genes and create designer immune cells programmed to hunt out and kill drug-resistant leukaemia. Research like this is made possible only thanks to charity-funded specialist laboratories dedicated to gene therapy research. Our new centre for research into rare diseases, which will be completed in 2018, will take forward a lot of that really innovative, life-changing research. Again, the money for that is being raised through the charity.

The charity also helps the hospital by securing extremely expensive equipment, such as a 3T magnetic resonance imaging machine and scanners that allow us to take much clearer and more detailed pictures of children’s bodies than was ever possible before. That allows faster and more accurate diagnosis, followed by better treatments for the children.

Treating children at home is something that we are also trying to develop at the hospital. Every parent with a very sick child longs for that child to go home, and every very sick child longs to go home. If we can release them from hospital and get them home faster, that makes a huge difference to them. One example of this is that we are now able to allow home dialysis to take place—again, thanks to charity funding. We have been the first hospital in Europe to offer home dialysis for children with serious kidney conditions. Before that, children had to come into the hospital a minimum of three times a week, spending four hours having dialysis. Home dialysis allows them hugely greater freedom and has dramatically improved their quality of life. Those are just a few examples.

I want to finish by asking a question of the Minister. I wonder whether he can clarify the details of the commencement of the provisions of the Bill. As I understand it, a number of NHS charities are still in the process of converting to independent charities. How long will it take for these conversions to be completed, and is it or is it not correct that they have to be completed before Clauses 1 and 2 and Schedule 1 can come into force? I would be really grateful if he could clarify that.

I end by thanking the many supporters of the charity—some of whom, indeed, are probably in this House—from the corporate sponsors to the big celebrity donors, but, above all, the many, many members of the public who support us by giving regular donations over many years.

Last of all, in his absence, I should thank JM Barrie for his extraordinary legacy when he donated the copyright to the hospital in 1929. “Peter Pan” has raised large sums of money, which has been put to wonderful use. It is now important that this legacy is safeguarded by passing this Peter Pan and Wendy Bill.

My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness, Lady Massey, for introducing the Bill today with such clarity. In preparing for today’s debate, the words “history” and “innovation” kept coming into my mind. The charitable sector is full of some wonderful historical stories, and the legacy of charity law is that from time to time one comes upon them.

Back in a previous century, when the first ever law was passed requiring a charity to have a board of trustees, one Dr Barnardo thought that he had better be in compliance with the law. He gathered together a few of his friends and acquaintances for a meeting. These august people resolved that they would meet again upon the death of Dr Barnardo, and they duly waited until this great social innovator, who did remarkable things in a wholly independent way, was not there to be hidebound by a board of trustees upholding the law.

It is interesting to think about that on a day when we are to hear the maiden speech of the noble Lord, Lord Bird. As those of us who work in the charitable and voluntary sector know, he has been at the forefront of bringing about innovation and change, not just in what charities and the charitable sector do but in how they do it. He has been at the forefront of bringing to the world of philanthropy and good deeds the disciplines of business. In so doing, he has made it very clear to the sector that some of the old strictures under which charities used to work need to change and, in particular, that we must have different forms of organisations in order to pursue what we need to do. I am very much looking forward to hearing what the noble Lord is going to say.

The legislation talked about by the noble Baronesses, Lady Blackstone and Lady Massey, is, in a sense, historical. It arose when there was a limited form that a charity could take and when there were very strict laws about the ways in which charities could hold property. If they belong to a charity that is an unincorporated association, noble Lords may know that special holding trustees have to be appointed to hold property in trust. So it is quite right today that in trying to bring about the best of business and to free charities up to pursue what they do in the most effective way, we should begin to make the sorts of changes that are in the Bill. It is, I know, very technical stuff, but it means in practice a great deal, and it will make a great difference to the ability of a body to do its basic job.

I want to make one other point that I think is important at the moment. It has been a terrible year for charities. Charities have been in the firing line right, left and centre—sometimes quite fairly but other times not. Being a trustee at the moment is really difficult and I imagine will become more difficult, because, when money is tight, people begin to look in even greater detail at what charities do. There has never been a more important time to support trustees in their governance of charities. Charities and trustees play an important part in our civic and social life and, therefore, anything that helps and supports trustees to do their job properly is to be welcomed. In this Bill, sorting out the anomalies between a charity and the bodies with which it works can be only to the good.

I want to ask one technical question of the Minister. It is a question that has been around before; it arose in your Lordships’ House when the Bill setting up foundation trusts and so on was going through. A certain noble Lord, Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, was at the Dispatch Box when we bowled him this question from opposition: will this Bill in any way affect the reporting, and particularly the accounting, burden on charities? NHS charities have always had a double burden of accounting: they have to account for their work as charities but they also have to account for their income and expenditure within NHS accounts. If the Minister could supply an answer to that, I would be very grateful. This is a Bill for the future, as much as a Bill that takes account of anomalies in the past. I wish it well.

My Lords, I know it is normal to declare an interest, but I have to declare an ignorance: I am not too hot on charitable trusts around hospitals. But I am hot on some things.

In 1991, I started a project called the Big Issue. The reason I started it was that the provision from government, and from charities, was completely and utterly lacking in one area, which I will refer to later. I support this Bill which gives trustees their head, the belief that they can make changes and the opportunity to spend money wisely. The very idea of a Minister of State overseeing charity trusts is a situation that I would want to end. I would like to use the opportunity of my maiden speech to get behind freeing up charities and encouraging them. But, as the noble Baroness, Lady Barker, said, charities themselves need to go through some pretty thorough work. When we started the Big Issue, we ran into enormous problems with virtually all the charities that acted in and around homelessness.

I am also interested in the subject because, even though I have never used Great Ormond Street Hospital, I am from west London, where Paddington Green kids’ hospital was where we went when we harmed ourselves. Unfortunately, it is with us no more. But I was born around the back of where JM Barrie wrote “Peter Pan”—I am a Notting Hill-Bayswater boy, and the swings that the Llewelyn Davies children played on in the early part of the last century are the same swings I was playing on just after the Second World War.

I should give the House an introduction to who I am. Thank God I am in the House; I am really pleased, and I think noble Lords will become aware of that. I would like to thank my probation officer. When I was 10, my probation officer stood beside me and, instead of chastising me as a post-war statistic, encouraged me to read and to write, even though it took me many years to master those arts, and encouraged me to look upon myself as not simply an underclass boy who, at the age of 10, had already been banged up for a few things, put on probation and fined. They were silly little things for which, today, they slap a child’s hand and say, “Don’t do that”. But in the good old days after the Second World War and in the 1950s, they trod on you hard.

I would also like to thank a wonderful woman, Baroness Wootton. Baroness Wootton was a marvellous woman who, when I was 10, put me on probation; when I was 12, made me a ward of court; when I was 13, put me in a remand home; when I was 14, sent me for a short, sharp shock; when I was 15, took me from a boys’ prison and put me back into a reformatory so that I could learn to read and write. Baroness Wootton is very important to this House: in 1958, she became one of only four women who were allowed to sit in this House and broke the male domination of the House—we should be thankful for that. I would love to think that, if she were alive today, Baroness Wootton—who would be now 118—would come running over to me and give me the biggest hug of my life.

I want to pause for a moment and go back to the Big Issue. When we started the Big Issue, I was rather aggressively anti-charity because I saw a situation where there were 501 organisations in London alone working with the homeless. They supplied you with everything from auricular acupuncture to a place to wash your undies and a shoulder to cry on, but one thing they did not give poor people was the opportunity of making money. One of the reasons they did not give them the opportunity to make money is that the laws around charities meant that you could give all sorts of things but you could not give opportunity in the form of work.

I was born in the slums of post-war London, brought up a Catholic racist—I am not having a go at the Catholics. I was brought up to hate black people, Jewish people and even English people, because we were London-Irish. I was brought up with all that poison. I was sent to all sorts of institutions, I slept rough and I stole. Someone asked me how I got into the House of Lords, and I said, “By lying, cheating and stealing”, because if I had not gone through that terrible self-defeat, I would never have been able to get out and learn to read and write in a boys’ prison at the age of 16.

Then I had a period of being a Marxist-Engelist-Leninist-Trotskyist—I would not recommend that to anybody—which lasted a considerable time. I tried becoming a working-class Tory, but that did not work very well. I tried everything. But eventually, I realised that I had got out of poverty. I had got into the middle classes, and the most exciting thing about being in the middle classes, which sounds remarkably rude, was how clean their beds were, the fact that they had clean underwear and that they were nice to each other. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be good if I could get some of the people I grew up with and who I knew and morph them into the middle class”, but how could I do that? I could not do it politically. There was no party that could get the underclass out of the grief—the long-term unemployed, the drug users and the drunks whom I knew. There was no conceivable way.

When I was 21, I had the misfortune—and the fortune—to be hiding from the police in Edinburgh of all places. I was begging, and I can tell noble Lords that it was not a very good place to beg—that is no reference at all to our Scottish colleagues. I met a very large-nosed Scotsman called Gordon Roddick, who had no money. We became friends. Then he met a young lady called Anita. They got married and they started the Body Shop. I did not see them for 20 years, but 20 years later I saw them on the telly. My son Paddy was with me and I said to him, “I know that big-nosed bugger”—excuse my French. I got hold of him and we became friends again and he said to me, “Are you one of those persons who crawls out of the woodwork when someone becomes incredibly successful?”. And I said, “Yes”. He said, “Well I know where you’re coming from”.

In 1990, Gordon Roddick was walking through New York and a very large man whom he described as looking like a wardrobe came towards him. Gordon blessed himself and thought, “This is it”. The bloke said, “Excuse me Buddy. Would you like to buy a copy of a street paper?”. Gordon said, “Yes, how much is it?” He said, “It’s $1”. Gordon said, “That’s brilliant. I’ll buy it. How does it work?” .The bloke said, “I buy it for 50 cents and sell it for a dollar”. Gordon said, “Why are you doing this?” The bloke said, “Well, I’ve been in and out of prison and I come from Brownsville”. That is where Mike Tyson comes from and you do not get out of Brownsville without being a sportsman or having a criminal record. That was how predictable the failure rate was for that particular part of New York.

The bloke said, “I’ve got a drug habit. If I go back to where I come from, I’ll be banged up again and they will throw the key away”. So Gordon said, “This is brilliant. What you’re doing is working and poisoning yourself, but you’re not harming anybody else”. The guy said, “Yes. I don’t rob old ladies to feed my habit. I’m like everyone in Manhattan who works in the finance industry. If they want some drugs, they just ring up their dealers”, which is brilliant. So Gordon came back here and tried that. He got the Body Shop Foundation to do a feasibility study, and every one of the homeless organisations said exactly the same thing: “What do you want to give money to homeless people for? They will only drink it all, shove it up their noses or stick it in their arms”. That was that.

Gordon came to me in the early part of 1991 and he said, “Why don’t you do this free paper? First of all, you have been homeless. Secondly, you’re a printer and you know about magazines and, thirdly, you are a cheeky sort of chappie and a great beggar and ponce”—which is a subdivision of begging. He said, “Also, you do not have one sentimental bone in your body for the poor”, and I do not have one sentimental bone in my body for the poor. I look upon the poor as people who should use poverty as opportunity, which it was intended for. There is nothing wrong with poverty so long as you can get out of it. You will be stronger and fitter and better. You do not want all this always stopping you and impeding you from getting out of poverty. You only have to scrape the surface and the patina of most people in Britain today and go back a few generations to see someone who burnt the candle at both ends so that they could get out of the grief, and they passed that on to their children. That is what we need to replicate and duplicate.

We started the Big Issue and we ran into all the problems. We stood up and we said, “Look, what we want to do more than anything is give people the opportunity to make their own money”—a hand-up, not a hand-out. Later on, we started a charity and we melded those together. We helped them to get ready to become capable of finding the means to help themselves. But many people could not get to self-help, so we held their hands, and we keep on holding them.

My wife is now telling me to wind up, so I should listen—I guess that must be the only reason for that sign. I will wind up. But I end on one point. The simple fact is this. We need to prevent people from falling down, but once they fall down, we have to have the means of getting them up as quickly as possible. The Big Issue has invested in 320 businesses—social businesses around Britain and charities—to prevent the next generation of Big Issue vendors and the next generation who are using drugs and falling through the net filling up our prisons and our A&E units. I thank noble Lords for their patience.

I was going to go on for another hour and a half, a bit like Ken Dodd, but I will not. Thank you and God bless you all.

My Lords, I know why noble Lords are all laughing. I have to follow that. Many a bigger man than me would have found that difficult. It is a privilege to follow my noble friend Lord Bird, and I thank him on behalf of the House for his remarkable, moving, humorous and rather unusual maiden speech.

It will go down in the records of maiden speeches. I do not know what words will be used—astounding, eccentric, and I hope not to be repeated. My noble friend has educated noble Lords in words they have not heard for many a decade; they will have to go and look them up in the dictionary. My noble friend is also a truly remarkable person. Today really is a Big Issue day.

My noble friend’s personal story is, as he described, also remarkable. If I can encapsulate it in one sentence, I would say that it is poverty to purpose.

Brought up in a slum, raised as an orphan, illiterate to start with and sleeping rough, my noble friend Lord Bird went to jail several times. But he has inspired millions. He is a trailblazer. He is a social entrepreneur. He has a mission to provide a hand up to thousands of people who are too often forgotten by society.

My noble friend was awarded an MBE in 1995 for services to homeless people and he is a doctor, holding an honorary doctorate from Plymouth Business School at the University of Plymouth. He also tried to stand as Mayor of London—there is a vacancy coming up. Then, as he told us, in 2010 he was asked what his guilty secret was. He said, “I am really a working-class Tory”. He also said that he would actually like to be a Liberal because they are nice people, but that that would be too much like hard work. I cannot repeat what he said about being a socialist. Noble Lords will have to look it up because the language he used cannot be repeated here.

He was also asked whether he has any ambitions, to which he replied that he would like to write a book; I hope that that is correct. The book was to be a different version, or a replacement, of Fifty Shades of Grey. I do not know how many here have read the book; it is an education in itself. Noble Lords might not be surprised to learn that the title is Why Drawing Naked Women is Good for the Soul. I have given the noble Lord a plug for his book because I am sure that the sales will now go up by millions.

I welcome my noble friend Lord Bird to this House. We look forward to many contributions from him. They are obviously going to be challenging, colourful and, dare I say it, enjoyable.

I now move on to my contribution to the NHS (Charitable Trusts Etc) Bill. Before I do so, I hope that the whole House will join in me congratulating the noble Baroness, Lady Massey, not because she is introducing this Bill but because today is her and her husband Les’s 50th wedding anniversary—I have let the secret out, Doreen, and I offer my congratulations.

I support this Bill wholeheartedly. As has been said, it was previously introduced by Wendy Morton, the Member of Parliament for Aldridge-Brownhills. I support the two main aspects of the Bill. It will allow for greater independence of NHS charities, which has to be welcomed. Many NHS charities have expressed concerns about demonstrating their independence when they have to fulfil the governance requirements of both NHS and Charity Commission legislation. The arrangements as described in the Bill will also help to remove the perception widely held by both individual and corporate donors that when they donate money to an NHS charity, it simply adds up to a bit more for the healthcare budget. It is important to remove this perception, and I believe the Bill will do that.

We are all familiar—no more so than the likes of me, who worked in the NHS—with the tremendous support given by the NHS charities and the people who work in them. As the noble Baroness, Lady Blackstone, mentioned, they provide funds that are often not available, particularly for early phase research and equipment. Research councils do not provide funds for the earliest stages, and I personally have benefited on several occasions from such funding. They support individual volunteers and charities like the network of League of Friends for hospitals. What they give to local communities is tremendous and valuable. I am very familiar with the work of such organisations and I declare an interest: I have the great honour to be the current president of the charity Attend. Many other noble Lords are familiar with it because several are past chairmen, presidents, vice-presidents or have served on its governing body. Attend responds to, respects, and gives care. It is an umbrella organisation representing more than 29,000 volunteers who give their time to health and social care issues. Last year, Attend volunteers provided more than 4.3 million hours of their time, equivalent at the minimum wage level to around £21 million. In addition, they raised some £41 million for health and social care needs in local communities. The contribution to making other people’s lives better cannot be measured only in money terms. Attend also brings about effective partnerships with organisations like the League of Friends and others. I hope the Bill will give further publicity to the valuable work being done by such charities and the individuals within them, thus encouraging more people to offer their support to their local NHS charity—not just financially but by getting involved personally.

The Bill will allow NHS charities to grow and develop their charitable activities, and in my view it will also act as a catalyst to bring about greater engagement by the public with their local health providers. In conclusion, I strongly support the Bill.

My Lords, I am pleased to be supporting the “Peter Pan and Wendy” Bill, which concerns royalties from “Peter Pan” for Great Ormond Street Hospital. The Bill was ably taken through another place by Wendy Morton, Member of Parliament for Aldridge-Brownhills; this seems to be such a happy coincidence of names. The NHS (Charitable Trusts Etc) Bill was strongly supported by Members of another place.

The Bill has been very well explained by the noble Baroness, Lady Massey of Darwen, who for many years has been the chairperson of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Children. The noble Baroness is very experienced in the needs of children. Legislation is needed to enable the right to those royalties to be given to the new independent Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, to which the current NHS charity is in the course of being converted. There was a consultation and the outcome was that NHS charities should be allowed to convert to independence if they so chose, and that the Secretary of State for Health’s powers to appoint trustees to NHS bodies under the National Health Service Act 2006 be removed at the earliest legislative opportunity.

JM Barrie was one of the most generous donors in the history of Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. The charity is keen to take advantage of the opportunity to move to independent status. Specific legislation is required to provide for the rights to “Peter Pan” royalties to be given to the new charity. This is a unique situation and a unique solution is required to enable the rights to the crucial royalties to be given to the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity so that Great Ormond Street Hospital can continue to benefit from the generous JM Barrie bequest.

Many of your Lordships will have experienced heart-rending situations with ill children, some of whom will have recovered with the help of specialised medical care, which is what Great Ormond Street Hospital can give, but some will not have made it. Recently, I had a young cousin who developed neuroblastoma, an aggressive children’s cancer. He was one of the bravest and most resilient young people I have ever known. His parents did everything they could, as did the medical teams, which included a trip to America for treatment, but at the age of eight the cancer won and Jamie died.

Children’s hospitals need all the help they can get to treat such children and to continue their research for cures where there is none at the moment. I wish the Bill a speedy journey back to another place and on to the statute book.

My Lords, I would like briefly to pay my tribute in the gap—I have given notice—to the noble Baroness, Lady Massey, and to add my congratulations on what is clearly a double golden day for her. I said that I would like to speak in the gap because I noticed there was no voice from this side of the House on the speakers list other than the Minister’s. I thought it would be appropriate to underline what general support there is for this small but very important and far-reaching measure.

When I came to the House this morning, I thought I knew what being given the bird meant. A new meaning has been brought today by an extraordinary Member, who encapsulates the importance and worth of your Lordships’ House. It is highly unlikely that he would have gone to another place, but here he is, able to contribute from a unique perspective to our deliberations. He is warmly welcomed by us all and we look forward to more hilarious and pertinent speeches, for which I suppose there is only one exclamation, which is GOSH. When the noble Baroness spoke about the charity having that name—a sort of Wodehousian name, rather than a JM Barrie one—I thought, “Oh dear, not another abbreviation that we’ve all got to remember”. But it is a memorable word. I am delighted that the noble Baroness introduced the Bill with her usual quiet skill, and we all pay tribute to a real Wendy in another place for what she did. I am delighted to give my strong support to this small but important measure.

My Lords, I am grateful for this opportunity to speak in the gap. For reasons I do not fully understand, my name was missed off the list. I am pleased to stand on behalf of these Benches to say how warmly we support the Bill. I also congratulate the noble Baroness, Lady Massey, on her introduction of the Bill, and her ability to take some of the detail of the legislation and, to quote Garrison Keillor, put the hay where the goats can get it. I am most grateful to her for that.

I also thank the noble Lord, Lord Bird, for his remarkable, spontaneous, interesting and engaging maiden speech. I wonder quite what volume he might muster when his throat recovers.

As I said, I am glad to speak in favour of the Bill. I am in favour both of the principle behind it and of its practical application, as many in your Lordships’ House have said, in relation to Great Ormond Street Hospital, which is a remarkable hospital. These charities—260 of them, I believe—have been of huge significance in the NHS in helping to raise funds for research and for other things. I support the principle of giving those charities that wish it the ability to avail themselves of the provision to release themselves from the oversight of the Secretary of State so that they might grow their work.

The particular issue is the Barrie legacy to Great Ormond Street Hospital. We may not all be famous authors, industrialists or entrepreneurs, but I believe that we can all play our part in getting behind the Bill and supporting its important provisions. I was interested to read that Great Ormond Street Hospital opened in 1852 with 10 beds and a nursing complement of one. This is remarkable, given that in 1845, if my memory is correct, of the 2,400 in-patients in hospitals, only 26 were children, despite the fact that overall deaths in London that year were 50,000, with 20,000-odd being children. Great Ormond Street has not just been excellent in care, hope and research but has played its part in the advocacy of the rights of children.

Many noble Lords will recall in Barrie’s wonderful children’s novel that Peter explains to Wendy that the Lost Boys are lost as they have no one to tell them stories and that they will never grow up because they will not have any stories to hand on. Today, we have an important opportunity to get behind the Bill and make sure that the great, ongoing story of National Health Service trusts, in particular Great Ormond Street, continues. I hope that your Lordships will feel able to support this wonderful piece of legislation.

My Lords, I am highly indebted to my noble friend Lady Massey for introducing the Bill. I congratulate her on a remarkable 50th wedding anniversary today. I also congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Bird, on his remarkable maiden speech. The noble Lord, Lord Patel, was so right when he described it as extraordinary, inspiring and heart-warming. As the noble Lord, Lord Cormack, rather subtly put it, it is a great advert for the benefit of an appointed House of Lords.

The point raised about the message to trustees of charities is important. The noble Baroness, Lady Barker, rightly described the last 12 months as being a very difficult time for charities. One does not need to go through the various issues that have arisen. It is clear from what she said—I very much agree with her, certainly in the context of the Bill—that the role of charitable trustees over the years has become ever more onerous and transparent. It has sometimes brought considerable pressure on those trustees. In supporting the Bill, it is right to pay tribute to charitable trustees, but also to say to the Minister that at a time when it is easy to criticise those trustees, the Government need to look at ways trustees can be collectively supported in the very difficult job that they are sometimes called on to do.

The first part of the Bill has arisen mainly from representations from the Association of NHS Charities and a number of individual NHS charities that have called for reform. I very much support the change that would be made. My understanding, and maybe the Minister could confirm this, is that there is a view that removing the current ministerial involvement in the appointment of trustees may encourage donors rather more in the future than in the past. I do not know whether the Minister agrees with that, but if it is true it is certainly to be welcomed.

I can only support Clause 3, on the transfer of rights to “Peter Pan” royalties. We all see Great Ormond Street as a hugely important national and international institution. The more it can be supported the better. My noble friend Lady Blackstone eloquently described the reason for the Bill, and the Opposition are wholly in support.

My Lords, I preface my remarks by saying upfront that the Government wholeheartedly support the Bill. That is to remove any element of doubt over what I might subsequently say. Almost everything that needs to be said about the Bill has already been said. I thank the noble Baroness, Lady Massey, for how she introduced it. She did so with huge clarity. I have a long version and a short version of my speech. All noble Lords will be pleased to know that I can revert to the short version because of the extremely good speech made by the noble Baroness.

I shall give a few acknowledgements. First, I acknowledge my honourable friend Wendy Morton, MP for Aldridge-Brownhills, who steered the Bill through the other place. She has been an MP for only a year. Many MPs go through a lifetime in the other place without ever getting a Bill through; she has done so in her first year, so many congratulations go to her. I congratulate the noble Baroness, Lady Blackstone, whose dogged determination for almost two years has been the driving force getting the Bill through both Houses; I give great thanks to her.

I have a tendentious personal association with GOSH through my father, who some noble Lords will know is still a Member of this House. He was chairman of the Wishing Well appeal in the early 1990s when GOSH raised £54 million, an astonishing amount of money which is just an indication of the extraordinary reputation that Great Ormond Street has, not just in the UK but throughout the world. I was chairman of trustees of the Norfolk and Norwich charitable trust and I echo the words of the noble Lord, Lord Hunt, that there is no doubt that being independent can actually make it easier to raise money, because people otherwise feel that it is part of the NHS and, therefore, why give additional money to it? I think that the Bill will help some trusts to raise money.

I would also like to mention Audrey Callaghan, who was chairman of GOSH in the 1980s at a time when the JM Barrie bequest came to an end after 50 years. She kept it going at that time and her husband, the former Prime Minister, Lord Callaghan, managed to amend the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to ensure that Great Ormond Street continued to receive that money. Finally, their daughter, the noble Baroness, Lady Jay, who would like to have been here today but unfortunately is abroad on business—in America, I think—is chairman of Bringing Research to Life, a joint venture between Great Ormond Street and UCL; that is a very important role.

Of course, it would not be right if I did not mention the extraordinary and very powerful maiden speech from the noble Lord, Lord Bird, which made a huge impression on all of us. His muscular approach to charity—a hand up rather than a handout—was very powerful. The noble Lord, Lord Patel, got the mood of the House absolutely right in how he recognised that remarkable maiden speech.

The Bill will complete the reform of the regulation of NHS charities begun by the government review in 2011. It will revoke the Secretary of State’s powers to appoint trustees to NHS bodies, which are no longer needed now that NHS charities can become independent. In response to the question of the noble Baroness, Lady Blackstone, about timing, the Department of Health has said that the provisions removing the Secretary of State’s powers will be brought into force in April 2018. That allows charities with trustees appointed by the Secretary of State a generous period of grace. I can give the noble Baroness more detail outside the House if that is not sufficient.

The Government support the Bill, which is fully consistent with our policy of giving NHS charities the opportunity to become fully independent where the charities are satisfied that this is in the best interests of their current and future beneficiaries. Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity was eager to take the opportunity to become independent. It became partially independent on 1 April 2015 but is unable to complete its conversion to an independent charity. This is because the original NHS charity has to be kept in existence until the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 is amended in order to avoid its statutory rights to the “Peter Pan” royalties being lost. The Bill will confer those rights on the new independent charity for Great Ormond Street Hospital, thereby by allowing the charity to complete its conversion.

Retaining the NHS charity only to receive royalties from “Peter Pan” causes a number of complications for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. Most significantly, running the two charities side by side creates the risk that legacies to the charity may fail. It also duplicates the governance arrangements, requires the production of separate accounts and may require the submission of duplicate returns to the Charity Commission. In response to the question of the noble Baroness, Lady Barker, about potential extra costs, it should actually reduce costs, because the charity will not be regulated both by the Charity Commission and by NHS legislation. I will double-check that with officials, but I think she can take it from me that it will reduce rather than increase costs.

To conclude, the Bill delivers, broadly speaking, what NHS charities asked for. It will remove the Secretary of State’s right to appoint trustees to NHS bodies. Those NHS charities that wish to do so can free themselves from dual regulation by becoming independent charities. As the House has heard, a number of NHS charities have already converted and more are actively considering the option. The Bill amends the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to change the beneficiaries of the rights to the royalties from “Peter Pan”, so that Great Ormond Street Children’s Charity can complete its conversion to full independence. This change has the complete support of the charity, which is eager to see this change become law. The Government wholeheartedly support the Bill.

My Lords, when I told my husband of 50 years—and I took a long time to say this to him—that as part of our wedding anniversary today I would be leading a Bill in the House of Lords, he said a lot of things. I can only repeat some of them. One of them was, “How can anybody do that on a wedding anniversary?”. Of course, I pleaded parliamentary timetabling, and I think I am forgiven, so I look forward to another wonderful day today and a lovely dinner in peace in our home town of Lewes. However, I am actually glad to have been here today because I have enjoyed myself. I have had great support from the House for the Bill, and I shall come on to the Minister’s comments in a moment, but I have also learned a lot, not only about charities but also about some of the people in the House.

I feel for the noble Baroness, Lady Barker, who said that it has been a terrible year for charities. I have worked in charities and been a trustee of several. Charities constantly have to look at themselves and embrace reform, without losing sight of their charitable objectives and what they are there for, which is to benefit clients. The Bill is part of that process, certainly for Great Ormond Street, but also for other charities which will be affected by the Bill. Some important issues have been brought up today and I will run through a few.

The noble Lord, Lord Crisp, talked about the importance to charities of innovation. Charities are good at innovating, but as was said later, they actually need some framework on which to be innovative. I thank the noble Baroness, Lady Blackstone, for her work on this issue over many years. She paid very moving tribute to GOSH and gave examples of supporting the charity and what it gives the hospital. The noble Baroness, Lady Barker, reminded us of the work of Barnardo’s. We should never forget Dr Barnardo, a great social innovator who talked about the need for reorganisation and reform of charities.

What can I say about the speech of the noble Lord, Lord Bird? A lot, but I will just say one or two things. It was extraordinary, inspiring and enthusiastic. It emphasised serious points about the need for governance and opportunity. His many wise words made me think about how, yes, you can use poverty as opportunity, giving a hand up, not a handout. He is a very good example of this initiative—triumphing over background. We talk about social mobility a lot in this House and today we have seen it and I thank the noble Lord for that.

The noble Lord, Lord Patel, in his short but, as ever, effective speech, spoke eloquently about the work of charities, particularly children’s charities. I am so glad that the noble Lord, Lord Cormack, spoke in the gap with his usual wisdom and charm. He and I share two passions: one is the House of Lords and its work; and the other is frustration over abbreviations. We both sit on a committee where we fume at the number of abbreviations with which we are presented that we do not understand.

The right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Bristol talked very aptly about passing on stories and themes. This is a story and theme about sick children which is very relevant and important to all of us, and on which Great Ormond Street and other children’s hospitals in this country—we must not forget the other hospitals—do superb work.

My noble friend Lord Hunt talked about the role of trustees. One must not forget either that trustees do an amazing job of holding charities to account and together, and supporting them.

I thank the Minister very much not only for meeting me before this Bill came to your Lordships’ House but for his unequivocal support for it, which he stated today. I realise that he has many personal contacts with GOSH, which he shared with the House. I thank him for his support.

Bill read a second time and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.