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Clegg sends NHS reform plans back to MPs

27th May 2011

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has revealed that the coalition government’s Health and Social Care Bill was likely to be recommitted to the House of Commons for further scrutiny.

In a speech to health professionals – and one that risked undermining health secretary Andrew Lansley – he said it would be wrong to 'bounce' the bill through Parliament.

Mr Clegg also indicated that the 2013 deadline for all GP consortia to assume control of NHS budgets was likely to be amended to allow GPs to take on the responsibility when they felt ready.

Of the bill, he said: “I don’t think it would be right for us to hold this listening exercise - to make big changes to the legislation - and then to seek to bounce it through Parliament. It is very important that MPs, who represent millions of patients up and down the country, have the opportunity to really look at the details that we are proposing.”

“I think we will need to send the bill back to committee. I have always said that it is best to take our time to get it right rather than move too fast and risk getting the details wrong.”

Shadow health secretary John Healey said he welcomed the proposal to send the Health and Social Care Bill back to the House of Commons to re-run its committee stage.

“The government’s plans for the NHS need to be radically re-thought. If fundamental changes are going to be made to the legislation, they need full and proper scrutiny in Parliament,” he said.

 

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