Government sets out timetable for Health Bill overhaul

The government will recommit 63 clauses of the Health Bill to the public bill committee and make 160 amendments to the Bill itself, the health minister has announced.

Speaking in parliament yesterday, health minister Simon Burns revealed the Bill would only be recommitted in part.

‘We propose to recommit 63 of the Bill’s clauses and to add a further five to the Bill. About 35 of those 63 clauses will need to be amended. The remainder will provide context and allow the committee to have a sensible debate about the revisions,’ Mr Burns said.

The recommitted clauses will cover the key areas of the Bill, including the role of the health secretary, clinical commissioning groups, the NHS Commissioning Board, the role of Monitor, foundation trusts, health and wellbeing boards and HealthWatch.

The government plans to make 160 amendments to Bill which will be tabled on 23 June.

Proceedings in the public bill committee on re-committal will be concluded on 14 July.

Labour shadow health secretary John Healey said: ‘The motion signals the onset of sclerosis in the health service. The Bill will mean that the NHS is deeply mired in more centralisation, more complex bureaucracy and more wasted cost in the years to come. There will be five new national quangos and five new local bodies doing the job that one - the PCT - does at present.’

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