Health Bill


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Mr. Lansley: Did the Government consider using the Government of Wales Bill for that purpose, rather than this Bill? It seems slightly odd to bring the matter forward at this stage when there is another legislative vehicle available.

Caroline Flint: Section 27 of the Government of Wales Act 1998, contained an order-making power that enabled the National Assembly for Wales to make consequential amendments to legislation when health authorities were abolished in Wales. The power was not used when that occurred, and I am advised that it can no longer be used: it is spent. I hope that that adequately answers the hon. Gentleman's question.

Mr. Lansley: It only reinforces the question. Since there is a Government of Wales Bill being considered on the Floor of the House and Government of Wales legislation previously seems to have been appropriate for this purpose, it seems that it would have been more appropriate to use that legislative vehicle, thereby giving greater notice of the measure, rather than introducing it in the Committee on this Bill.

Caroline Flint: The opportunity was taken to deal
 
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with the matter in the Health Bill. As I say, it is technical matter and just refers to changing the terminology relating to health boards. We need to do that now in the context of the consolidation Bills currently being prepared.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.

Clause 53

Accounts and Audit

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Mr. Lansley: I have one question. I understand that NHS bodies can establish non-charitable trusts to hold property assets. However, paragraph 11 of schedule 8 makes it clear that they are not to be included in summarised accounts. It is not inconceivable that the property assets of non-charitable trusts of NHS bodies could in future have such a volume of assets that it would be necessary to understand the overall balance sheet position of an NHS trust.

It being Seven o'clock, The Chairman proceeded, pursuant to Standing Order 83D and the Order of the Committee [6 December] to put forthwith the Question already proposed from the Chair.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 53 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

The Chairman then proceeded to put forthwith the Questions necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded at that time.

Schedule 3

New Schedule 12B to 1977 Act

Amendments made: No. 125, in schedule 3, page 65, line 39, leave out paragraph 3 and insert—

    '3 (1) Each English NHS body or cross-border SHA must keep proper accounts and proper records in relation to the accounts.

    (2) If the Secretary of State so directs with the approval of the Treasury, the accounts of any such body of a description specified in the direction must be kept in such form as is so specified.

    (3) Each Welsh NHS body must keep proper accounts and proper records in relation to the accounts.

    (4) If the Assembly so directs with the approval of the Treasury, the accounts of any such body of a description specified in the direction must be kept in such form as is so specified.

    (5) This paragraph has effect subject to the exception in paragraph 10(2).'.

No. 126, in schedule 3, page 66, line 5, leave out paragraph 4.

No. 127, in schedule 3, page 66, line 24, at end insert—

    'Auditing of accounts of certain English NHS bodies

    5A (1) This paragraph applies to any English NHS body that is not a Special Health Authority (as to which, see paragraph 7).

    (2) Any annual accounts prepared by any such body under paragraph 5 are to be audited in accordance with the Audit Commission Act 1998 (c.18) by an auditor or auditors appointed by the Audit Commission (see section 2(1)(b) of that Act).

    (3) The Comptroller and Auditor General may examine—

    (a) any such accounts and any records relating to them, and

 
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      (b) any report on them by the auditor or auditors.

      (4) In this paragraph ''the Audit Commission'' means the Audit Commission for Local Authorities and the National Health Service in England and Wales.'.

    No. 128, in schedule 3, page 66, leave out lines 26 to 36 and insert—

      '(1) Each English NHS body to which paragraph 5A applies must send a copy of any accounts of the body audited as mentioned in paragraph 5A(2) to the Secretary of State by the specified date.

      (2) If the body is a Primary Care Trust, it must also send a copy of any such accounts to the Strategic Health Authority within whose area the Trust's area falls.

      (3) Each Special Health Authority that is an English NHS body or cross-border SHA must send copies of any annual accounts prepared by it under paragraph 5—

      (a) to the Secretary of State by the specified date, and

      (b) to the Comptroller and Auditor General as soon as is reasonably practicable following the end of the financial year in question.

      (4) In sub-paragraph (1) or (3) ''the specified date'', in relation to a financial year, means such date as the Secretary of State may direct in relation to that year for the purposes of that sub-paragraph.'.

    No. 129, in schedule 3, page 68, line 8, leave out 'or 4'.—[Caroline Flint.]

    Schedule 3, as amended, agreed to.

    Clauses 72 to 74 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    Clause 75

    Orders and regulations

    Amendments made: No. 138, in clause 75, page 57, line 29, after 'section', insert

      '(Amendments relating to Local Health Boards and abolition of Welsh health authorities) or'.

    No. 83, in clause 75, page 57, line 37, at end insert—

      '( ) No statutory instrument containing an order under section 76(3A) which amends or repeals any provision of an Act or an Act of the Scottish Parliament may be made by the Scottish Ministers unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, the Scottish Parliament.

      ( ) Otherwise, a statutory instrument containing an order under section 76(3A) is to be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of the Scottish Parliament.'.—[Caroline Flint.]

    Clause 75, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    Clause 76

    Amendments, repeals and revocations

    Amendments made: No. 84, in clause 76, page 58, line 10, at end insert—

      '(3A) The Scottish Ministers may by order make—

      (a) such supplementary, incidental or consequential provision, or

      (b) such transitory, transitional or saving provision,

      as they consider appropriate for the general purposes, or any particular purposes, of the provisions specified in subsection (3B) or in consequence of, or for giving full effect to, any of those provisions.

      (3B) Those provisions are—

      (a) section 33(2),

      (b) so far as extending to Scotland, section 70 and paragraph 53 of Schedule 8.

      (3C) An order under subsection (3A) may not include any provision which would be outside the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament if it were included in an Act of that Parliament.

     
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        (3D) An order under subsection (3) may not include any provision which it would be competent for the Scottish Ministers to make in an order under subsection (3A).'.

      No. 85, in clause 76, page 58, line 11, after '(3)' insert 'or (3A)'.—[Caroline Flint.]

      Clause 76, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

      Schedule 8

      Minor and consequential amendments

      Amendments made: No. 130, in schedule 8, page 80, line 30, leave out

        'prepared in accordance with directions under'.

      No. 131, in schedule 8, page 80, line 31, leave out

        'kept in accordance with directions under paragraph 3(1)'

        and insert 'paragraph 5(1)'.

      No. 132, in schedule 8, page 81, line 1, leave out sub-paragraph (2) and insert—

        '(2) Omit paragraph 1(g).'.

      No. 133, in schedule 8, page 81, leave out lines 4 to 6 and insert—

        ''1A Section 2 also applies to annual accounts of health service bodies prepared under paragraph 5(1) of Schedule 12B to the National Health Service Act 1977.''.'.

      No. 134, in schedule 8, page 81, line 10, before 'section', insert

        'the accounts kept in pursuance of'.

      No. 135, in schedule 8, page 81, line 11, leave out 'paragraph 3(2)' and insert

        'any accounts kept or prepared in pursuance of paragraph 3 or 5'.

      No. 136, in schedule 8, page 81, line 13, after 'accounts' insert 'or prepare annual accounts'.—[Caroline Flint.]

      Schedule 8, as amended, agreed to.

      Schedule 9

      Repeals and revocations

      Amendment made: No. 137, in schedule 9, page 84, line 33, column 2, leave out 'paragraph' and insert 'paragraphs 1(g) and'.—[Caroline Flint.]

      Schedule 9, as amended, agreed to.

      Clauses 77 and 78 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

      Clause 79

      Commencement

      Amendments made: No. 139, in clause 79, page 59, line 4, leave out 'section 71' and insert

        'sections 71 and (Amendments relating to Local Health Boards and abolition of Welsh health authorities)'.

      No. 86, in clause 79, page 59, line 5, leave out first 'and' and insert 'to'.

      No. 87, in clause 79, page 59, line 7, at end insert—

        '( ) The following provisions come into force on such day as the Scottish Ministers may by order appoint—

        (a) section 33(2), and

        (b) so far as extending to Scotland—

        (i) section 70,

        (ii) paragraph 53 of Schedule 8, and

       
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          (iii) section 76(1) so far as relating to that paragraph.'.—[Caroline Flint.]

        Clause 79, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

        Clause 80

        Short title and extent etc.

        Amendments made: No. 140, in clause 80, page 60, line 5, after 'sections', insert

          '(Amendments relating to Local Health Boards and abolition of Welsh health authorities),'.

        No. 88, in clause 80, page 60, line 6, leave out from 'Act' to 'has' in line 7.

        No. 89, in clause 80, page 60, line 9, leave out subsection (5).—[Caroline Flint.]

        Clause 80, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

         
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