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House of Commons

Friday 6 November 2015

The House met at half-past Nine o’clock


[Mr Speaker in the Chair]

Mr David Nuttall (Bury North) (Con): I beg to move, That the House sit in private.

Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 163), and negatived.

NHS (Charitable Trusts Etc.) Bill

Second Reading

9.34 am

Wendy Morton (Aldridge-Brownhills) (Con): I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time.

Let me begin by thanking all the Members who are present for giving up a Friday in their constituencies to take part in what I believe will be a very important debate, and all the Members on both sides of the House who have sponsored my Bill. It was a tremendous honour, and also a surprise, for me, a new Member of Parliament, to be drawn in the ballot for private Members’ Bills the day after making my maiden speech. I am not normally drawn in a raffle, so this was something of a coup.

As many colleagues had warned me would happen, a raft of suggestions for Bills came flooding my way, on to the internet, into my inbox, and as text messages. All of a sudden I was the No. 1 favourite MP, and enjoyed a few minutes of fame. After some consideration, however, one Bill caught my eye, the one that I should like to be referred to as “the Peter Pan Bill”.

The Minister for Community and Social Care (Alistair Burt): Peter Pan and Wendy!

Wendy Morton: Indeed. I had often wondered why my mum and dad named me Wendy, and that was obviously the reason.

Like many other people, I knew of the tremendous work of Great Ormond Street hospital. Each year, children from all over the United Kingdom, many of whom suffer from rare, complex and life-threatening conditions that cannot be treated elsewhere, go to that specialist hospital to benefit from its specialist care. Sadly, for many children Great Ormond Street is the last hope, and, although it is one of the world’s leading children’s research hospitals, for some of those conditions there are no known cures.

I was also aware of the very special link with J.M. Barrie, whose generous bequest to the hospital consisted of the royalties for commercial publications and public performances of his play “Peter Pan”. What I did not know, however, was that legislation was 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. The right to the royalties is currently conferred on the special trustees for Great

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Ormond Street hospital who are appointed by the Secretary of State. Baroness Blackstone first raised the need to amend legislation to enable Great Ormond Street hospital to continue to benefit from the Barrie bequest during the passage, in the other place, of the Bill that became the Deregulation Act 2015, and the Government agreed to introduce legislation at the earliest opportunity. My Bill will do that by amending the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

I have to say that my warm and comforting thoughts of Great Ormond Street vanished temporarily when I read more of the briefing that had been prepared for the Bill, and discovered a proposal to remove powers from the Secretary of State for Health. I was a little concerned. Could I have been handed a Trojan rocking horse? Well, I can assure Members that if I had been, I would not be presenting the Bill today, because it also paves the way for sensible housekeeping on the part of NHS charities, the Secretary of State and his Department. As a new, eager and enthusiastic Member of Parliament, and one who wishes to see less bureaucracy, less duplication and less Government interference, I think it fair to say that the opportunity to remove some of the Secretary of State’s powers had a certain attraction.

Before I deal with the details of the Bill, let me assure you, Mr Speaker—and I hope you will not be too disappointed—that this Wendy will not be flying through the sky, or indeed the Chamber, on an adventure with a mischievous little boy called Peter Pan and a fairy named Tinker Bell, although I shall remain firmly on my guard for Captain Hook and ticking crocodiles.

Let me start with the background to the Bill, which, although it might seem technical in parts, is necessary and important. NHS charities are regulated under charity law but are also linked to NHS bodies and bound by NHS legislation. They are charitable trusts established under NHS legislation and have as their trustee an NHS body such as a foundation trust or trustees appointed by the Secretary of State for an NHS body. NHS charities are distinct from independent charities, which are established solely under charity law. As we would expect, funds donated to the NHS must be held separately from Exchequer funding provided by the taxpayer. These charities exist to support the beneficiaries and there is a special relationship between the charities and the trusts with which they are associated.

The first part of the Bill makes provision to remove the Secretary of State for Health’s powers to appoint trustees for NHS bodies in England and to appoint special trustees in England for specific hospitals. It also amends primary legislation in this regard. It fulfils a Government commitment made in 2014 following a 2012 Department of Health review and consultation on the governance of NHS charities. The outcome of the consultation was that NHS charities should be allowed to convert to independence should they so choose and the Secretary of State for Health’s powers to appoint trustees to NHS bodies under the National Health Service Act 2006 should be removed at the earliest legislative opportunity.

You may well ask why, Mr Speaker, and I can understand that question, but please let me try to explain. A number of the larger NHS charities called for reform because they were concerned that the NHS legislative framework limited their freedom to grow and develop their charitable

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activity to best support their beneficiaries and to demonstrate to potential donors visible independence from Government.

Simon Hoare (North Dorset) (Con): I rise not as a ticking crocodile but to ask my hon. Friend to assure the House that notwithstanding the provisions in the Bill, which I support fully, the NHS and the public purse will continue to have a pair of eyes and ears around the trustee table as there will be the ability to nominate a trustee to sit on this new independent body to ensure that trustees do not, in a flight of fancy, suddenly go off to Cap Ferrat for the weekend and put everything on number six.

Wendy Morton: My hon. Friend makes a useful point. The important point is that whereas the NHS charity can benefit from this new independent model, there will always be accountability. This is not public money but money that comes from benefactors and donors, so it is right and proper that the trust instilled in the process of giving is maintained at all times.

Kevin Foster (Torbay) (Con): My hon. Friend is making a great speech in support of her Bill. Does she agree that that very independence gives beneficiaries the confidence that their money is spent as intended and that the wealth of charity law is there to ensure that funds are put to the right purpose?

Wendy Morton: My hon. Friend makes a valid point. I shall explain that a little more later, but the Bill is about creating independence while maintaining accountability. I believe that we are looking for a route to enable these charities to move forward and to be on a more level playing field with some of the big charities operating across the country. Let us not forget that this is something that they have been asking for.

Collectively, across the country, about 260 charities exist to receive and manage charitable funds on behalf of NHS bodies. I am sure that everyone in the House would agree that they do fantastic work and that many Members are aware of local hospital charities in their constituencies. My preparation for this Bill made me think back to when my sister, who was five or six at the time, spent six weeks in the local NHS hospital and my mum was able to stay near the hospital thanks to accommodation that was provided either by a “friends of” organisation or a local charity that provided that sort of sheltered accommodation. Without that, she would have had to make the long journey to and fro every day. I am sure it made a huge difference, not only to her, but to the whole family.

Hon. Members will be interested to learn that just over £345 million was raised by these charities in the past financial year, supporting patients and staff right across the country. I am sure everyone in this House would agree that they make an outstanding contribution and are deserving of our support. Members may be asking why it is necessary to legislate, and that is a perfectly good question. It is one that I have asked, and I now wish to answer it. In simple terms, the Bill is good housekeeping; it is a matter of follow through. The charitable environment has moved on and there is a need to provide certainty in an already complex world

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and a complex structure. The Bill seeks to remove the Secretary of State for Health’s powers to appoint trustees, so it will draw that process to a conclusion. The Bill is overdue and it makes sense.

Currently, 16 NHS charities have trustees appointed by the Secretary of State for Health and are directly affected by the Bill. They are bound by charity law and NHS legislation. They are currently unincorporated and their trustees have unlimited liability. This means that the 16 NHS charities will choose either to revert to a corporate trustee model, meaning that the board of the NHS body for which the trustees were appointed acts as trustee of the charitable funds, which is how many NHS charities already successfully operate today, or, as many of the 16 have indicated they would like to do, they can convert to become independent charities without Secretary of State-appointed trustees.

Maggie Throup (Erewash) (Con): As I understand it, some NHS charities have already converted to independent status. Will my hon. Friend expand on what benefits they have gained from doing that?

Wendy Morton: I will come on to deal with some of those benefits later. Anyone would think my hon. Friend had read my speech, because the next words on it are “six charities”. I can assure you, Mr Speaker, that no one has seen it. Six charities have already completed the transition to independence. They include Barts Charity, which raises money for Barts Health NHS Trust, including St Bart’s hospital. That was the first to convert to an independent model. The others are Alder Hey in Liverpool; Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, which is close to my constituency; and Guy’s and St Thomas’. The Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospital Charitable Fund has also become an independent charity. They are all able to benefit from greater independence and less bureaucracy.

Kevin Foster: Why was it necessary to bring a Bill before Parliament to deal with these issues and make these changes? Why could a legislative reform order not have been used?

Wendy Morton: An LRO was mentioned to me early on when I was doing my research on the Bill, but this Bill covers two parts; one is the Great Ormond Street part and the other is about the trustees, so an LRO was not appropriate as it was not the right vehicle to enable those things to be brought together and taken through Parliament. There was a streamlining of the process, with no duplication and less bureaucracy.

The other charity to have converted to independence is Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. It has started the process of moving to independence. I have made specific reference to it because of its unique status and the need for specific legislative change, and I will come back to that point later. A further six have now notified the Department of Health of their intention to convert to the independent model. Another is in the process of reverting to a corporate trustee model, which will be completed by 1 April. Of the remaining nine, about half have agreed to independence, but have not yet formally informed the Department of Health, while the others are in discussion with their trustees and hospital boards. Clearly, many have made the decision, and many others are in the process of doing so.

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Earlier in the summer, I met the hon. and learned Member for Holborn and St Pancras (Keir Starmer), and I have written to Members whose constituencies have an NHS body with trustees appointed by the Secretary of State, which would be affected by my Bill, to keep them fully informed. The Bill is supported by Great Ormond Street Hospital charity and NHS charities more generally. It also has the support of the Association of NHS Charities, with which I have met. Recently, I attended a forum where I spoke to some of the association members. I was reassured by their support for the Bill and by their feedback about how it would affect them in a positive way.

The parts of the Bill that would effect the change are intended to be brought into force on 1 April 2018, which gives this group of 16 hospital charities time to consider and to finalise their positions. Lines of accountability would also be simpler, as the new independent charities would be accountable to the Charity Commission, with the additional management bureaucracy no longer being needed.

I am grateful for the support of the hon. and learned Member for Holborn and St Pancras, who is in his place and in whose constituency Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity is based. During the summer, I was very fortunate to go to Great Ormond Street hospital and to meet some of the charitable trusts. I met the staff and learned at first hand about the tremendous work that they do in support of the hospital, staff, patients and families. I was lucky enough to be taken on a tour of parts of the hospital; it is the most amazing place in the world. I visited the Peter Pan ward and the chapel—I do not think that there is a Wendy ward, but who knows?

Lucy Allan (Telford) (Con): If the Bill were not passed, what would be the implications for Great Ormond Street hospital?

Wendy Morton: That is a very good question. Quite simply, the charity would not be able to complete the move to independence, so the hospital would have to run two charities: one would be the independent arm; the other would be the existing one into which the royalties from “Peter Pan” would be transferred. That would mean a duplication of work, and more bureaucracy. When the charity goes out to raise funds, it needs to provide certainty to the public.

Antoinette Sandbach (Eddisbury) (Con): Earlier, my hon. Friend mentioned the Alder Hey Children’s Charity, which is the key leading charity in the north-west and provides the same sort of support to children. Does she agree that families feel a great sense of ownership over their local hospital, which gives them such support, and therefore they might be much more willing to fund-raise for an independent charity that was seen as physically separate from the board of the hospital or the NHS trust?

Wendy Morton: When it comes to hospitals, we all have our own personal stories on which to draw and our own personal experiences. The British public are very generous in donating to many different causes, and certainly to local hospitals. The move to independence will help to attract some of the bigger corporate donations, and enable the hospital to work and compete alongside other charities. It makes them operate more independently

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and less bureaucratically in today’s world, which is very different from that which existed when the trusts were first formed.

On my visit to Great Ormond Street, it was clear to me that the legacy of J.M. Barrie lives on. Where else in the world could we find a boardroom named after a fairy, Tinker Bell? No one can fail to be touched by the commitment and dedication of the staff there. Great Ormond Street hospital has been constantly evolving since opening in a Georgian townhouse in 1852. Today, it is halfway through an ambitious, 20-year redevelopment programme to rebuild two thirds of the hospital site. The charity is working to deliver new facilities appropriate to world-class paediatric care, research and education. It is the largest dedicated funder of paediatric research in the UK, and that is something of which we should all be proud.

Maggie Throup: How much does the charity raise each year? Obviously, it does fantastic work, as we have been hearing, and I wonder what the total figure is.

Wendy Morton: In a nutshell, the figure is significant, and I will come on to that shortly.

The charity funds vital support services that care for the child and often the whole family: financial advice, parental accommodation, as well as spiritual support and helping families to stay together and manage their lives during what can be very difficult and trying times.

The Great Ormond Street hospital charity has a large number of donors, individual companies and, I am told, celebrities who support their work. On fundraising, Members will be interested to know that the charity raised £80,981,000 in the financial year 2014-15—an increase on the previous financial year—so the figure is indeed significant.

One of the most generous donors in its history is, of course, J.M. Barrie. As the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity is keen to take advantage of the opportunity to move to independent status, specific legislation is required to provide for the rights to the “Peter Pan” royalties to be given to the new charity. The idea of royalties being paid to a charity is not unusual in itself. As we approach the run-up to Christmas, I am reminded of songs recorded for charity where royalties go into charitable trusts, but the relationship between Great Ormond Street hospital and “Peter Pan” is different. It is already 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 J.M. Barrie bequest.

Kevin Foster: My hon. Friend is being incredibly generous with her time in allowing interventions. Will she clarify something? Does Great Ormond Street receive royalties from only the original book featuring Peter Pan and Wendy, or does it receive them from subsequent publications and performances?

Wendy Morton: The charity continues to receive royalties. In fact, there are many productions of “Peter Pan” around the country in the run-up to Christmas, and the charity continues to receive royalties or agreed donations when such productions are performed. We must ensure that the charity continues to get those royalties, which makes the Bill even more important.

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J.M. Barrie donated all rights in “Peter Pan” to Great Ormond Street hospital in 1929. He died in 1937, but the hospital enjoyed a further 50 years of royalties. On the eve of the copyright expiring, the J.M. Barrie bequest acquired its unique legal status, as a direct result of Lord Callaghan’s amendments to the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, which ensured that, despite the copyright in the work expiring on 31 December 1987, the special trustees for Great Ormond Street hospital would have the rights to royalties in respect of all commercial publications or public performances of “Peter Pan” and would hold them on trust for the purposes of Great Ormond Street hospital. The relevant provisions are found in section 301 of and schedule 6 to that Act.

The royalties are now held in perpetuity, so J.M. Barrie’s generous gift will continue to benefit very sick children and their families for as long as the hospital exists. My Bill seeks to support the continued legacy of this great children’s author from Kirriemuir in Scotland. I do not know whether any Member present in the House today has heritage or roots in Scotland, but there is certainly a link back to north of the border.

Kit Malthouse (North West Hampshire) (Con): I am very supportive of the Bill. Does my hon. Friend think that the move by hospital charities to more independent status without Government appointment makes it more likely that other significant authors of children’s books will see value in such bequests? She will know that there is a Scottish author who has made hundreds of millions of pounds from children’s books and may be more likely to bequeath some of her royalties to charities. The measure might make influential authors such as Julia Donaldson—I understand that £1 in every £5 spent on children’s books in the UK is spent on a Julia Donaldson book—generous towards hospital charities in the way that J. M. Barrie was.

Wendy Morton: Let us hope so. Many artists and authors around the country have preferred charities to which they donate and give their royalties, but by highlighting the work of J. M. Barrie and Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital Charity the measure may, fingers crossed, lead to more of them doing so.

The Minister for Community and Social Care (Alistair Burt): Before we leave the Scottish dimension, may I say that my granny was born in Angus, fairly close to where J. M. Barrie comes from?

Mr Speaker: Order. We are learning quite a lot about Members’ family circumstances, and it is very illuminating.

Wendy Morton: That is the beauty of being in the Chamber on a Friday, Mr Speaker.

Simon Hoare: Has my hon. Friend noticed the relief among Opposition Members that there is no one of Scottish heritage in the Chamber?

Wendy Morton: I have not, but I am grateful to my hon. Friend.

I have introduced the Bill to deal with the importance of legacy. This very special gift to Great Ormond Street

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hospital of the rights to “Peter Pan” royalties is currently conferred on the special trustees appointed by the Secretary of State to the hospital. Those trustees, as I have mentioned, wished to take advantage of the Government policy allowing NHS charities to move to independent status, and have partly completed their conversion to the charitable company known as Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, which will enable them to take advantage of the benefits of independence. However, the conversion will be fully completed only if the rights to the royalties to “Peter Pan” are conferred on the charity, in the special trustees, ensuring that the royalties continue to be used for the benefit of Great Ormond Street hospital.

As I explained at the beginning of my speech, my private Member’s Bill was introduced following a Department of Health review and consultation on the governance of NHS Charities. The decision to move to independent status or revert to the corporate trustee model is entirely for each charity to make. All of the 16 charities to which I have referred have either made the decision or have indicated that they will do so, which shows the support for the measure. The move to independence will provide greater freedom to attract additional funding, reduce bureaucracy by leaving the charities under the sole authority of the Charity Commission, and give greater liability protection for trustees.

It is also worth recognising that NHS charities simply would not be able to achieve as much as they do without the massive contribution of trustees. This week, as I am sure you are aware, Mr Speaker, is trustees week, so it is only right and proper that we recognise and pay tribute to the valuable contribution that trustees make up and down the country.

I shall now sum up my private Member’s Bill. Fundamentally, the NHS (Charitable Trusts Etc) Bill seeks to support the work of NHS charities. First, and very specifically, it makes provision to confer the rights to the “Peter Pan” royalties on the new Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. That will enable it to take full advantage of the move to independent status, providing greater freedom to attract additional funding and reduce bureaucracy, by leaving it under the sole authority of the Charity Commission.

By repealing the powers of the Secretary of State for Health to appoint trustees to NHS bodies in England and to appoint special trustees in England, the Bill draws to a conclusion the transition process for NHS charities, which are expected to move either to an independent model or to a corporate model. It creates certainty and clarity within the existing complex bureaucratic structure. It provides greater freedoms to attract additional funding and gives trustees much greater protection from liability.

During the summer and in recent weeks I have spoken to many people about my Bill and I am very reassured by the support it has received, including from Great Ormond Street hospital and other NHS charities. I feel confident that Members in all parts of the House recognise that this Bill is worthy of a Second Reading.

I have had the opportunity to indulge in a journey back to my childhood. While some Members here today may have been watching the latest Bond movie, I have

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been catching up with Disney’s Peter Pan and my reading on the train has been J.M. Barrie. On this occasion no one at home has been able to complain.

“Peter Pan” is a well-loved fairy tale, but this Bill is for real. It is a piece of legislation which I trust I have explained to Members, and which is wanted by NHS charities and is necessary. This Bill is worthy of a safe passage. I do not want it to be the Never Bird, to fly out of the window, turn second star to the right and straight on to morning, ending up in Never Land, where the lost boys play and crocodiles tick. I commend the Bill to the House.

10.6 pm

Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab): I support the Bill and I am grateful to the hon. Member for Aldridge-Brownhills (Wendy Morton) for the discussions she has had with me about its background and the reasons she is putting it forward in the way she does. I shall confine my comments to the second main subject matter in the Bill, Great Ormond Street hospital, which I have the great privilege of having in my constituency.

As has been said, the hospital was set up in 1852 with just 10 beds. It is now one of the leading hospitals in the world. I had the privilege of working in the next street for 20 years as a lawyer, and the little daughter of close family friends of ours is currently being treated at the hospital, so I know almost first-hand the great work of the hospital. I, too, have visited the hospital as the MP for Holborn and St Pancras.

Like the hon. Member for Aldridge-Brownhills, I was very taken by the work that was going on there. On the afternoon I went to the hospital, I left here fed up and a bit glum for various reasons, and when I was shown round the hospital and saw babies one day old fighting for their lives and receiving the most professional care, it was a most uplifting experience for me and a reminder of what goes on out there in the real world, in hospitals such as Great Ormond Street.

In 1929, the hospital received from J.M. Barrie the copyright to “Peter Pan”, which has provided significant funding for many years since then.

Mr David Nuttall (Bury North) (Con): Does the hon. and learned Gentleman know why J.M. Barrie picked Great Ormond Street hospital, as opposed to any other?

Keir Starmer: I am grateful for that intervention. I do not know, but I assume that J.M. Barrie picked that hospital because it was the first in the country dedicated only to children. If I can find out more, I will write to the hon. Gentleman and tell him.

Since 1929 the hospital has pioneered the medical treatment of children and there has been breakthrough after breakthrough, underpinned by a very deep commitment to professionalism among all the staff at every level in the hospital and those who run the hospital. Only yesterday came the news that a baby girl with incurable leukaemia was saved by Great Ormond Street hospital, with surgeons performing what was described as a miracle operation, the first of its kind in the world. She is just the latest in a long line of children who literally owe their lives to Great Ormond Street hospital and its staff.

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The hospital has lost none of its ambition. In 2002 it commenced a redevelopment programme to expand capacity, deliver an ever-improving trip service and reduce unnecessary in-patient admissions. I think that everybody in the House was very proud when the hospital featured in the opening ceremony of the London Olympics in 2012 as a symbol of everything that we in this country are proud of.

Simon Hoare: Due to your indulgence, Mr Speaker, Members can now Google while listening to a debate. In answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Bury North (Mr Nuttall), the Barries were childless, but in 1929 J. M. Barrie was approached to sit on a committee to help buy some land so that the hospital could be built. Those are his links to the hospital.

Keir Starmer: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for that intervention, which saves me from having to look it up later and write to the hon. Member for Bury North (Mr Nuttall).

The second part of the Bill is needed to ensure that Great Ormond Street hospital can continue to benefit from the copyright to “Peter Pan” and to continue the close relationship between the hospital for children and the boy who never grew up. I urge Members to support the Bill.

10.11 am

Anne Marie Morris (Newton Abbot) (Con): I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Aldridge-Brownhills (Wendy Morton) on bringing her private Member’s Bill before the House for its Second Reading. I also congratulate her on her election in May, which ensured that a seat that has long been Conservative remained blue.

I am pleased that the Bill is to receive its Second Reading today. It aims to allow Great Ormond Street hospital to continue to benefit from J. M. Barrie’s generous and noble gesture. It would allow all royalties derived from public performances, commercial publications or communication to the public of “Peter Pan” to be donated to Great Ormond Street hospital. It is not known precisely how much those royalties have raised over time, because apparently a condition in Mr Barrie’s will stated that he wanted the amount raised to remain unknown. The charity itself states that

“it’s enormously valuable—not only in financial terms, but as a symbol and as an icon—and has brought a fair amount of income to the hospital.”

To give some context to the value of the royalties, I draw attention to the fact that Disney donated more than £10 million to the hospital in just seven years, between 2008 and now. That money does not come directly from royalties and reaffirms the value of Barrie’s connection to the hospital.

The Bill makes provision in relation to two main subjects. First, as my hon. Friend the Member for Aldridge-Brownhills has explained, it would remove the Secretary of State’s powers to appoint trustees for NHS bodies in England. That would make good a commitment made by the Government in 2014. It would therefore allow for greater independence of NHS charities, which has been a concern for a number of generally larger NHS charities, which therefore support this reform. The Charity Commission, for example, said that dual regulation under both NHS and charity

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legislation made it difficult for NHS charities to achieve and demonstrate independence. Those concerns will be made better if we remove the Secretary of State’s power to appoint trustees on behalf of NHS trusts and foundations. I know the Department of Health is in favour of that.

Secondly, the Bill amends the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1998, notably sections 301 and 304 and schedule 6. Clause 3(3) changes the relevant words from

“on trustees for the benefit of the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, London”


“GOSH Children’s Charity for the benefit of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children”.

The Bill permits the accumulation of all royalty rights to the trustees for the benefit of Great Ormond Street Hospital, London. It will allow the transfer of royalty rights to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity of any performance or publication of the play “Peter Pan” in the UK. In doing so, Great Ormond Street hospital is free to move, in full, to become an independent charity under the regulation of the Charity Commission without the risk of losing its protection under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act. This, as my hon. Friend made very clear, removes the dual legislation that may be perceived by some to be rather burdensome. Direct transfer of royalties will promote efficiency and, as she correctly says, reduce red tape and drive down costs, which all good Conservative Governments endeavour to achieve.

This Bill is not the first step that the Government have made towards reviewing the regulation and governance of NHS charities. In 2011, the Department of Health conducted a review of NHS charities and consulted on proposals to change the policy on their regulation and governance. In the response, charities welcomed the opportunity to seek greater independence by removing dual regulation requirements. It was clear from their responses that the current regulatory system was of considerable concern. The trustees of the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Charitable Funds gave the following favourable response:

“The Trustees are not likely to want to move in this direction proposed by the consultation paper in the near future, but have no objection to the Department making the transfer to an independent charity possible, providing there is no compulsion to do this.”

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was also in favour, provided that the Department of Health ensured that the appropriate safeguards are in place. It said:

“The Trust has no objection in principle to NHS charitable trusts being transferred to a nominated charity outside of NHS Legislation subject to appropriate safeguards being in place to ensure that the interests of NHS patients and the relationship with the individual NHS provider bodies are preserved.”

Similarly, UCL Hospitals Charitable Foundation said:

“Yes, as this would allow the charity to be established under an incorporated model and remove the current unlimited liability for individual trustees and the freedom to appoint trustees without the constraints of the current set up.”

Mr Speaker: Order. Let me very gently say to the hon. Lady that I understand the natural temptation to look

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in the direction of a sizeable coterie of colleagues, but she is addressing her speech to the House as a whole and through the Chair.

Anne Marie Morris: I am appropriately reprimanded, Mr Speaker. I shall ensure that, in particular, I give you the focus and attention you clearly deserve, and indeed Members on the Opposition Benches.

I will continue with the history behind this valuable Bill. The Bill addresses concerns about the Secretary of State’s powers to appoint trustees of NHS foundations and trusts. In 2012, Barts and The London Charity and the Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity said that it was

“unclear as to why the Department seems at pains to preserve the Secretary of State’s…ultimate control over the appointment and removal of trustees”.

They added:

“We broadly agree with the stated aims of the review and would welcome the outcomes listed in”

the report,

“particularly those that would result in NHS charities being able to deliver improved services to NHS patients as their beneficiaries.”

In “Review of the regulation and governance of NHS charities”, the Government’s response to the consultation, the Secretary of State said that he was

“willing to seek to remove those specific legislative provisions as soon as possible.”

The Bill allows him to fulfil that promise.

The Bill refers not only to past consultation, but to past legislation. Following the expiry of the copyright on “Peter Pan” in 1987—50 years after the death of J. M. Barrie—it was concluded that Great Ormond Street hospital should continue to benefit from Mr Barrie’s gesture, and legislation was enacted to do so under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Sections 301, 304 and schedule 6 briefly became redundant, due to a European Union directive on copyright, which meant that copyright law was

“harmonised at 70 years after the death of the author or 70 years after the work is lawfully made available to the public”.

The directive was implemented on 1 July 1995, giving Great Ormond Street hospital extra copyright until 2007. The 1988 Act then came into force and that unique Act remains in place to this day.

The Bill builds on this House’s commitment to Great Ormond Street hospital to benefit from the royalties from “Peter Pan”—as laid out in the 1988 Act—by effecting a change in the identity of the person on whom the right is conferred. That is because, under charity law, the trustees have converted from being special trustees appointed by the Secretary of State to being an independent charity.

There is much more to the relationship between Barrie and Great Ormond Street hospital than a benevolent gesture. Barrie’s brother was the inspiration for the play after his tragic death just before his 14th birthday. His mother was said to take comfort from the fact that her son would remain a child forever, and thus the seed was planted for “Peter Pan”.

“Peter Pan” is the story of how a young family travel to a magical land—Neverland—with the help of a little bit of fairy dust. They learn that family is a very important concept, and I have no doubt that many of

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the visitors to Great Ormond Street hospital and many hon. Members can relate to that. They encounter numerous perils in the shape of a hook-handed pirate, a crocodile that has swallowed an alarm clock and a jealous fairy named Tinker Bell. The story concludes with Peter Pan, the boy who did not want to grow up—I know many other boys who do not want to grow up, many of them quite old—being unable to connect with his friends as they grow older and he remains a child.

Great Ormond Street hospital works to make sure that children do get that opportunity to grow up, but without losing the comfort and experiences of being a child and enjoying their young lives. Sadly, some visitors to Great Ormond Street do not grow up, much like Barrie’s younger brother David, and the connection to Peter Pan is therefore strong ever more.

Since its completion in 1904, “Peter Pan” has formed the basis of nine films, including a spin-off series on Tinker Bell, one radio adaptation and nine TV shows since 1955, the first of which was a stage adaption aired on NBC. Seven video games contain characters from the “Peter Pan” universe. Not only that, but “Peter Pan” has continued to be reproduced in countless plays, books and comics. According to the Great Ormond Street website, between now and next March, 23 runs of “Peter Pan” will be performed across the country—north, south, east and west—including in the northern powerhouse, which is a testament to the fantastic work and its legacy.

Barrie was a great supporter of the work Great Ormond Street hospital did then; it continues to do such work to this day. In 1929, he was approached to sit on a committee to buy some land so that the hospital could build a much needed new wing. Barrie declined to serve on the committee, but said that he hoped to find another way to help. Two months later, the hospital board was stunned to learn that Barrie had handed over all his rights to “Peter Pan”. At a Guildhall dinner later that year, Barrie, as host, claimed that Peter Pan had been a patient in Great Ormond Street hospital and

“it was he who put me up to the little thing I did for the hospital.”

It therefore seems fitting that such a gesture was made to the hospital to continue its great work.

As my hon. Friend the Member for Aldridge-Brownhills said, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity raises money to enable the hospital to provide world-class care and to pioneer treatments and cures for childhood illnesses, with an estimated 255,000 patients coming through its doors every year. The hospital originally had just 10 beds and two doctors.

Kevin Foster: My hon. Friend is making a long and strong speech about the benefits of Great Ormond Street hospital. Does she agree that although the hospital is based in London, it actually provides specialist care across the UK, including for some of our constituents in Devon?

Anne Marie Morris: My hon. Friend makes an entirely correct comment. He is absolutely right that Great Ormond Street hospital makes a fantastic contribution across the country, and those of us representing the south-west have constituents who have directly benefited from the fantastic services that the hospital offers. He was quite right to make that point.

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Albert Owen (Ynys Môn) (Lab): The extra money going to Great Ormond Street hospital is well appreciated by people across the United Kingdom. However, many children’s charities tell me that there is an issue about drugs, in that more of them need to be made available. The second Bill is about off-patent drugs. Will she support that Bill, because it is hugely important to the very people she is talking about?

Anne Marie Morris: The hon. Gentleman raises a very important point about drugs. The Government are absolutely focused on that issue. Far be it from me to take words out of the Minister’s mouth, but I am sure that he may well cover the hon. Gentleman’s comments on drugs in his response. Among other things, the special cancer drugs fund has made a considerable difference to many people suffering from cancer.

On that note, I will carry on talking about this really important piece of legislation, and to explain to hon. Members a little more about the history of the hospital. As I originally stated—[Interruption.] Mr Speaker, you are looking querulous. May I continue?

Mr Speaker: The hon. Lady has the floor, but I am sure that she will want to have some regard to the fact that several other hon. Members wish to speak. I am cautiously optimistic that she is approaching her peroration.

Anne Marie Morris: Mr Speaker, this is such a fascinating subject that I want to ensure it gets the air time it deserves. I know that my hon. Friends also have a lot to say. I am sure that we will manage to have an interesting and long debate.

Maggie Throup: Does my hon. Friend agree that we must get things right not just because of the financial implications for the charity, but because of the charity’s reputation?

Anne Marie Morris: My hon. Friend makes a crucial point. Reputation is critical. The changes that we are making today will add to the charity’s reputation and help it to raise further funds for what is a worthwhile cause.

If I may, I will continue to explain the fascinating history of Great Ormond Street hospital, the contribution it has made to our country, and why the Bill is so important and valuable and has my support and that of the Government, despite the hospital’s humble beginnings. Just as you arrived, Madam Deputy Speaker, I was explaining that the hospital originally had just 10 beds and two doctors, and was situated in a 17th-century townhouse. It has constantly redeveloped itself to ensure that it is suitable for the treatment of modern illnesses as medicine develops.

Before the inception of the NHS in 1948, Great Ormond Street was a voluntary hospital that ran fundraising campaigns to expand its size from the 1850s onwards. Because private fundraising was strongly regulated, it was owing to the support of people such as Barrie who left legacies to the hospital that it was able to develop the highest standards.

Throughout its history, the hospital has been at the forefront of numerous breakthroughs in paediatric healthcare, such as appointing the first consultant paediatric surgeon, Denis Browne, in 1928; opening the UK’s first

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heart and lung unit in 1947; opening the UK’s first leukaemia research unit in 1961; pioneering the first heart and lung bypass machine for children in 1961; performing the first successful bone marrow transplant in Britain in 1979; undertaking the world’s first stem cell-supported trachea transplant in a child in 2010; becoming Europe’s first children’s hospital to offer a portable haemodialysis service in 2010; and opening the Newlife birth defects research centre in 2012, which is Europe’s first research centre to tackle birth defects.

Great Ormond Street hospital would not be able to make such advances without the relevant and up-to-date equipment it has. Thanks to its supporters, it is able to provide its patients with leading-edge equipment, so that its exceptional doctors and nurses can improve diagnosis and treatment, and continue to provide children with the world-class care they need. In one notable instance, a 15-year-old machine developed an unrepairable fault and had to be replaced in 2012. If the funds to upgrade it had not been available, the hospital would have had to continue to refer patients elsewhere for imaging, which would have been inconvenient for families and costly to the hospital.

The equipment owned by the hospital includes specialist X-ray equipment, such as cone beam CT technology, which can take high-quality 3D images with less radiation than a standard CT scanner. The ultrasound equipment in the Dubowitz neuromuscular centre is used to assess about 350 patients each year and helps clinicians to make a faster and more accurate diagnosis of conditions such as muscular dystrophies, myopathies and motor neurone disease. Nutritional equipment includes equipment that can help patients, such as premature babies, those in intensive care, or those receiving treatment for gastrointestinal conditions or cancer. Because those patients are in a fragile state or receiving strong medication, they need a precise recipe with the right balance of fluids and nutrients, and the hospital is able to provide it.

Maggie Throup: My hon. Friend has explained precisely why Great Ormond Street hospital needs extra charitable money. It carries out fantastic work that is over and above the work found in so many other hospitals, and it is renowned across the world for its work. Whatever money it can raise through charitable donations is important.

Anne Marie Morris: As ever, my hon. Friend makes an important point. It is right that the money goes towards new, far-reaching, novel pieces of equipment and medical solutions, which are exactly what we need in this country. We should be proud of that and do everything we can to enable the hospital to gain as much funding as possible.

The hospital is able to facilitate a number of different wards for a number of different treatments, and that is due to the continued contribution from donations and legacies. Barrie’s contribution has been so significant over the years that, fittingly, there is a Peter Pan ward—I am sorry that there is not yet a Wendy ward, but I am sure we can do something about that.

Bob Stewart (Beckenham) (Con): The Lost Boys ward.

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Anne Marie Morris: Indeed. Many other items within the hospital commemorate Barrie’s donation. Those include a statue of Peter Pan and Tinker Bell at the hospital entrance, a plaque dedicated to Barrie in the hospital chapel, a Tinker Bell playroom in the Octav Botnar wing, and a tiled mural of Neverland, which was created and donated by art students at the University of Wolverhampton.

The ability of charities to become independent and subject to regulation by the Charity Commission is important. That can be seen in the 2012 consultation that set out the rationale for reform. A number of NHS charities, their representative bodies and interest groups, have called for this reform. They raised concerns that the NHS legislative framework, and how it is applied, limits the freedom of charities to grow and best support their beneficiaries.

Madam Deputy Speaker, I am, in the words of Mr Speaker, “slowly but surely” coming to the end of my contribution on this important subject. The Department’s overall conclusion was that it is appropriate to allow NHS charities that wish to move to independent status to do so, and that that should be facilitated, subject to suitable safeguards being adopted and a suitable process followed. The Department of Health said in its review of the regulation and governance of NHS charities that since the majority of respondents supported the principle behind proposals for the transition of NHS charities to independent charity status, it is appropriate to allow those who wish to follow such a course to proceed, subject to appropriate safeguards and process. At the same time the Department will ensure that organisations that wish to retain the status of an NHS charity may do so.

Given the fantastic work done by Great Ormond Street hospital, the equipment it uses to treat children, and the staff it trains to deploy that treatment, I am thoroughly supportive of ensuring that funds from legacies such as that of J. M. Barrie continue to reach their intended destinations. His legacy does not live on in only a monetary way, or a legal way as we discuss this Bill, because Peter Pan has had a societal impact on this country—even the Wendy houses that many hon. Friends have no doubt bought for their children or a young relative originate from Barrie’s play and the house built for young Wendy Darling. As Barrie once wrote:

“I suppose it’s like the ticking crocodile, isn’t it? Time is chasing after all of us.”

Other Members want to speak, so I will bring my remarks to a close. The Bill will help to ensure that Great Ormond Street continues to do fantastic work, and at the same time it will implement some of the Department of Health recommendations from the review of the regulation and governance of NHS charities. I commend it to the House.

10.40 am

Mary Robinson (Cheadle) (Con): I, too, congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Aldridge-Brownhills (Wendy Morton) on successfully securing this private Member’s Bill and bringing it to the Floor of the House. Her office is next door to mine, so I know for a fact how hard she and her staff have worked on the Bill. I am pleased to be here to support it.

Throughout the country, amazing people are working and volunteering in the charitable sector. In my constituency, local people recognise the invaluable work of our charities,

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such as St Ann’s Hospice, which has provided care for people with life-limiting illnesses for more than 40 years, and Millie’s Trust, a newer charity that has not only raised awareness of paediatric first aid, but campaigned to change legislation on first aid in children’s nurseries.

Our communities and, it is fair to say, our lives, would be poorer without the tremendous work of our charities. To carry on doing that work, they rely on the selfless efforts of volunteers and the tireless ingenuity of fundraisers, and bequests from caring people, whose legacies provide a lifeline. The bequests made over the years to Great Ormond Street hospital have undoubtedly enabled many children’s lives to be saved. Its groundbreaking research continues to give parents new hope in the treatment of their desperately ill children. We have heard today about a child whose cure from childhood leukaemia was described as a miracle. Wonderful work continues to be done. I should like to take the opportunity to pay tribute to the vital work of the staff, fundraisers and patrons, who do so much to ensure that Great Ormond Street and its associated charity continue to provide the very best care to children and young people.

As my hon. Friend the Member for Aldridge-Brownhills noted, Great Ormond Street and its charity are in the unique and fortunate position of having the rights to the royalties from performances or publications of the play “Peter Pan”, an extremely valuable benefit bestowed by the author, J. M. Barrie. The royalties that the charity receives and that, as my hon. Friend noted, Lord Callaghan successfully legislated in perpetuity, enable it to keep up its wonderful work and surely reflect the wishes of J. M. Barrie. I fully support the ambition to ensure that the charity continues to receive that generous settlement, and to give Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity the independence it needs to grow and better support its beneficiaries.

I am pleased that the Bill addresses a number of constraints that the charity has encountered, not least the duplication of governance arrangements that currently complicates the charity’s position. Historically, charitable involvement in the health service has always been welcomed. The Bill will not affect independent charities, but it is important to recognise their continued importance in the sector.

The Department of Health conducted a review of NHS charities in 2011. The response was the announcement of the intention to move towards greater independence and a commitment to a new model. That is what the debate is about. The rationale for the reform reflected concerns raised by the NHS charities and their representative bodies that the NHS legislative framework and its application limited their freedom to grow and raise charitable funds effectively. We must do everything we can to support the valuable work our charities do, and often that means removing red tape and bureaucracy and allowing them to choose their own legal frameworks.

That goes to the heart of the Bill. It is something that charities have asked for, and we should support them, but the complexities of the royalties arrangements for Great Ormond Street hospital require Parliament’s involvement to effect the transfers. I support these measures and the removal of the Secretary of State’s power to appoint trustees. Great Ormond Street hospital for children is well loved and well used by families from right across the country, as has been said, and it is surely in our interests to make it as easy as possible for

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the charity to operate effectively so that it can concentrate on providing care for children. The Bill does just that, by allowing the transfer of royalties while consolidating the new Great Ormond Street hospital charity as an independent charity, free from Government and ministerial involvement.

Paul Flynn (Newport West) (Lab): The hon. Lady has twice mentioned the need for charities to be free from regulation and Government involvement. Will she study the recent history of Kids Company, which has been accused of many abuses, and certainly a great waste of public money, as a result of lax regulation and the permissive attitude of the Conservative party and the Prime Minister?

Mary Robinson: It is absolutely right that the governance arrangements for charities, and any other body responsible for donated moneys, be adequate and robust, and I know that that will be the case here.

Finally, I congratulate my hon. Friend on introducing the Bill, which I wish a swift and easy passage. I am confident that with so much support it will be driven into law and will not drift into Neverland.

10.47 am

Lucy Allan (Telford) (Con): It is a privilege to follow the excellent speech by my hon. Friend the Member for Cheadle (Mary Robinson). I also congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Aldridge-Brownhills (Wendy Morton) on introducing the Bill, which I want to be known henceforth as the “Peter Pan and Wendy Bill”, and which I fully support. It would give NHS charities greater independence and freedom to develop their charitable activities unburdened by unnecessary state involvement and bureaucracy, and it would have wider implications for charities up and down the country. It is welcomed by the NHS charities that have called for this reform.

I pay tribute to the fantastic work done by NHS charities throughout the country, but particularly to the NHS charity that serves Telford’s Princess Royal hospital. Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust charity is the umbrella organisation for several charitable groups, but I want to mention the Friends of Princess Royal, whose donors and volunteers have been working for many years raising funds for additional equipment for the hospital. Only yesterday, I received a letter from a constituent telling me about their fantastic work so I wanted to come here to thank and pay tribute to them. Most recently, they donated £25,000 for a new ultrasound machine in the intensive therapy unit and an electrocardiogram unit costing over £4,000, both of which are already benefiting my constituents. They also recently donated £95,000 for monitors to cover extra cubicles to ensure additional support during the difficult winter period. It is incredibly important that volunteers and charitable trusts be given the recognition they deserve, as all too often they are the unsung heroes.

There may be some who say all that should be provided by the taxpayer, but I believe people want to get involved in their local communities and want to play a part in shaping the role of the services provided. It is not enough simply to pay our taxes, sit back and expect the Government to take care of all our needs. As members of our communities, we have a responsibility to each

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other. There are so many examples in Telford of people giving up their time generously, giving their money and helping to make their communities in Telford even better. This Bill helps to make that possible in a freedom and enterprise spirit. I am absolutely delighted to support it and thank my hon. Friend the Member for Aldridge-Brownhills once again for bringing it forward today.

10.50 am

Maggie Throup (Erewash) (Con): I am delighted to contribute to today’s debate on such an important issue, and I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Aldridge-Brownhills (Wendy Morton) on deciding to raise it in this place and to make these changes, which I am pleased to support.

Our nation would be a poorer place without the thousands of charities and their trustees who contribute their time and their expertise without fear or favour. As we have heard, this is trustees’ week, so it is appropriate to debate this issue today. Close to my heart are the many hospital-related charities that play such an important role in supporting our free-at-the-point-of-care national health service that has served us so well. It is vital that such charities are allowed to conduct their good work with as few barriers as possible.

The current structure of NHS charitable trust status has three main disadvantages. First, potential donors may perceive that the charities lack independence from government. Secondly, being bound by legislation prevents the charities from adopting different legal forms specific to their needs, particularly those offering limited liability. Thirdly, the Charity Commission believes that dual regulation under both NHS and charity legislation makes it difficult for NHS charities to achieve and demonstrate independence. It is therefore vital that NHS charities have the opportunity to move to independent charity status.

In my constituency, I have many charities that support the work of the NHS in some way, but today I want to highlight just two of them. First, Ilkeston community hospital league of friends is a dedicated group of people who do everything from making cups of tea for visitors and taking the newspaper trolley around the wards to holding extremely successful spring, summer and Christmas fairs. A recent bed push up Ilkeston’s main street, Bath street—and when I say up, I mean up the hill—raised over £1,400. These events raise valuable additional funding providing for those added extras that make such a difference to my community hospital. This has included a scanner for the Val Jackson scanner suite at Ilkeston hospital, and the list goes on and on.

Secondly, I have an amazing hospice, Treetops Hospice Care, located at Risley, but serving the wider community across Derbyshire and parts of Nottinghamshire. Only the other day, we heard a very powerful speech in this place by my hon. Friend the Member for Lewes (Maria Caulfield)about the importance of palliative care. Treetops Hospice Care is a bit unusual as it does not have any beds, but provides all its end-of-life care and support in the community. As we heard on Wednesday, up to 70% of people want to die in their own homes, yet only 30% manage to have their wishes fulfilled. The invaluable care in the community that Treetops provides is helping my constituents to fulfil their wishes, which must be

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comforting for their families at such a difficult time. Treetops is innovative in its fund raising, too, holding everything from dog shows and vintage fairs to car boot sales and a sponsored bike ride taking in all the different charity shops that make a contribution—and I am pleased to say that I took part on a tandem.

My constituents and the wider population give generously and freely to both Ilkeston community hospital league of friends and to Treetops Hospice Care. These two charities are not bound by the legislation that the NHS charities in question are today.

As previously mentioned, the Bill takes away one of the barriers to maximising donations for the NHS charities in question. It removes the Government’s involvement, as it removes the role of the Secretary of State in appointing trustees. This move will enable potential donors to know that the NHS charity is truly independent from the Government.

I now wish to talk specifically about Great Ormond Street hospital. I have visited this amazing hospital on numerous occasions in a professional capacity, so I felt touched by the descriptions that my hon. Friend the Member for Aldridge-Brownhills and the hon. and learned Member for Holborn and St Pancras (Keir Starmer) provided of their visits to this amazing hospital. Like them, I felt very privileged to have seen a small part of its ground-breaking work and the care that is given there. Only yesterday, we heard about the one-year old girl, Layla Richards, now in remission from leukaemia as the result of innovative gene editing, creating designer white blood cell treatment. That really was fantastic news—both for Layla and her family.

Bob Stewart: I have to declare an interest, as my wonderful daughter-in-law, Nicola Stewart, is a nurse at Great Ormond Street. I just want to confirm and support everything my hon. Friend is saying about the dedication of the nurses and doctors at Great Ormond Street hospital.

Maggie Throup: I thank my hon. Friend, and I completely agree that every doctor and nurse, and every NHS worker goes beyond the call of duty—not just at Great Ormond Street, but in hospitals throughout the country. We owe a great debt of gratitude to them for the work they do.

J. M. Barrie made a very generous and powerful donation when he gifted the rights from “Peter Pan” to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. I am sure the renowned author would be cheering from the Gallery, if he could, to hear that his wishes are to be continued through the mechanisms of this Bill.

Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg (North East Somerset) (Con): Mr Barrie had better not cheer from the Gallery; if he did, he would be ruled out of order.

Maggie Throup: I bow to my hon. Friend’s greater knowledge of this place.

It is only right that every effort is made to ensure that the moneys available through the rights are used for the original intended purpose. I am sure that the parents and patients at this world-leading hospital will be backing this Bill, as they can see and experience first-hand how important additional charitable donations are to the workings of this hospital. The Bill provides for much-needed changes to legislation, and I will support it in the Lobby today.

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10.57 am

Marcus Fysh (Yeovil) (Con): I am grateful for the opportunity to speak in this debate. I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Aldridge-Brownhills (Wendy Morton) on bringing forward the Bill, which would allow this massively important charity to move forward.

My father is a consultant paediatrician, a neonatal intensive care specialist and a former president of the paediatric assocation of the Royal College of Medicine. As a child, I spent many Christmases visiting wards and seeing very sick children. That made an indelible impression on me, and now that I have my own children I remember the many faces that I saw. I therefore have some understanding of what goes on at Great Ormond Street hospital, with which my father worked closely on many occasions. It is truly leading the way on treatment and on research.

There are good facilities for sick children at the hospital in my constituency, and I pay tribute to all the incredibly committed doctors and nurses who work there. As we have heard, more difficult cases are often referred from other parts of the country to the London trusts, and particularly to Great Ormond Street because of its cutting-edge work.

I was involved in helping one family in my constituency, the Bennett family, to go to Great Ormond Street. They were incredibly grateful for the benefits that the Great Ormond Street charity provided, and particularly for the help they received with accommodation at what was an extremely difficult time.

Yeovil has its own hospital charity, Flying Colours. I pay tribute to its manager Sarah Cherry and all the other people at the district hospital, who have managed to raise more than £500,000 for better facilities and an expansion of the hospital’s special baby unit. That is intended to support, in particular, children who are born with addictions, which I know can be one of the most distressing conditions to witness. There are other great charities in Yeovil, including St Margaret’s hospice, which, because of the way in which it was set up, already has the flexibility that allows it to raise money in different ways. It would be great if charities such as Flying Colours had the same ability.

“Peter Pan”, by J.M. Barrie, is a perfect story to associate with the Great Ormond Street charity, and we should thank Barrie for the foresight that he showed in helping those who are indeed forever young in some cases. I should add that I know something else about his relationship with the hospital: his family used to live in Bloomsbury, which was, of course, a great centre of the London literary world, and it is nice that it retains that association with the hospital to this day.

However, the fundraising of the Great Ormond Street Hospital trust goes much wider than the bequest of J.M. Barrie, and I think it needs the flexibility that would allow it, too, to raise money in a number of different ways. J.M. Barrie’s copyright is sometimes disputed, particularly in America. The Bill’s proposal to reduce the liability that the trustees can face is a positive step, because no one wants to be sued by the Americans.

Kevin Foster: I entirely agree with what my hon. Friend is saying. It is not just a question of the tactics that the trust can use to raise funds. The Bill will enable those who donate, and who participate in fundraising,

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to feel confident that the charity, and those who are independent of the Government, will spend the money and decide how it will be spent.

Marcus Fysh: My hon. Friend has made a very good point.

The Bill will provide the flexibility, the independence, the reduced liability and the reduced operation costs that will allow the charity to maximise its innovation, the help that it gives to other people, and the great work that is done in the hospital, and I commend it to the House.

11.2 am

Simon Hoare (North Dorset) (Con): Much has been said about the importance of a work of literature with the status of the novel “Peter Pan”. We are, of course, entering the panto season. My hon. Friend the Member for Newton Abbot (Anne Marie Morris) told us earlier about the number of performances of “Peter Pan” that would be taking place around the country, and I note that you, Madam Deputy Speaker, are wearing the ruby slippers of Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz”. The Epping Forest Empire Theatre will doubtless present a sterling performance at some point during the Christmas season.

I support the Bill, and congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Aldridge-Brownhills (Wendy Morton) on introducing it. Underpinning its proposals is, of course, the Government’s commitment to localism and devolution. Many of us who have read the Bill will probably have been rather surprised that the opportunity to appoint trustees is a reserved power of the Secretary of State for Health, because one would automatically assume that trustees who are involved in their local hospitals would be drawn from the local community, and appointed by people with local knowledge and expertise. In that respect, the Bill is a very important measure.

The safeguard that I sought to draw out from my hon. Friend in an earlier intervention is crucial. In no way does this newfound independence of appointment allow trusts to move away from their core and original purpose. They cannot all look at the Racing Post and decide that Lucky Lad in the 3.10 on Saturday is the favourite, and the fact that the horse has only three legs and the jockey has a withered arm is neither here nor there—they are going to put all the trust funds on Lucky Lad. That cannot happen, which I think is a very important safeguard.

Mr Rees-Mogg: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Simon Hoare: At the very mention of Lucky Lad, I give way to my hon. Friend.

Mr Rees-Mogg: My hon. Friend is giving an excellent explanation of what the Bill would do. Ordinary charities are not, of course, allowed to put money on Lucky Lad in the 3.10 at Uttoxeter, or wherever it may be. I hope that that is not a widespread problem, but if it is, my hon. Friend should bring it to the attention of the Charity Commission.

Simon Hoare: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for clarifying the role of trustees. As a trustee of a charity myself, I shall ensure that my copies of the Racing Post—

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well thumbed as they are—are not brought into any more trustee meetings. It is also important to point out that the Charity Commission will continue to have oversight. I think that that addresses the rather waspish comment made by the hon. Member for Newport West (Paul Flynn) in an intervention on the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Cheadle (Mary Robinson).

Paul Flynn: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Simon Hoare: With enormous, enormous pleasure, to waspishness I will give way.

Paul Flynn: There are 5,000 leading charities in Britain, and there is great concern about the activities of some of them. The majority do a great deal of good, but we know of the abuses carried out by “chuggers”—which constitute robbery as far as donors are concerned—and the use of call centres to plague elderly, vulnerable people. There is a need not for wholesale deregulation, but for new regulations to control those charities.

Simon Hoare: The hon. Gentleman has invited me to stray from the immediate purport of the Bill. Let me avail myself briefly of that invitation, and agree with him wholeheartedly. The people who wander up and down our streets waylaying busy shoppers, business men and women and commuters trying to elicit bank details and donations, and those who worry and harass people in their homes with telephone calls seeking charitable donations, are a curse and a menace. I believe that the authorities and Her Majesty’s Government are alert to that, and I rather hope that during the course of this Parliament we shall see some redress in respect of an issue that blights the lives of many of our constituents. My hon. Friend the Member for Aldridge-Brownhills may wish to clarify the position, but I am not aware that Great Ormond Street raises funds in that way, although I do not think that the issue is crucial to the Bill.

Wendy Morton: The Bill is purely about 16 NHS charities and their move to independence, and about Great Ormond Street. I am straying a little here, but I think that there may be issues relating to other charities that come to light occasionally. My Bill, however, is purely about the NHS charities, which are a very specific and, in my view, a very special group.

Simon Hoare rose—

Madam Deputy Speaker (Mrs Eleanor Laing): Order. I have allowed a little laxity this morning so that Members could explore issues relating to charities, such as those raised by the hon. Member for Newport West (Paul Flynn). However, the hon. Lady is right to point out that the Bill is narrow. I am certain that the hon. Gentleman. in his usual erudite manner, will now confine his remarks to the Bill, as he has done perfectly so far.

Simon Hoare: I am grateful for your ruling, Madam Deputy Speaker—and I am drawing my remarks to a close.

I also think that the Bill is helpful in terms of general governance. As has been noted, Great Ormond Street currently operates two charities side by side. That requires two reports to the Charity Commission, two sets of

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audited accounts, and a duplication of arrangements involving busy people who could, quite properly, be engaging in other activities to raise funds.

Maggie Throup: It is not just about the duplication of effort but about the fact that money that has been spent on creating the accounts and on the bureaucracy could have been spent on the work that the charities carry out.

Simon Hoare: My hon. Friend is an energetic champion of deregulation and trying to cut away as much red tape as possible. I am sure that the electorate of Erewash are delighted by that. I agree with her entirely that this could free up not just time but valuable funds for a more health-related purpose.

My hon. Friend the Member for Aldridge-Brownhills has delivered the Bill with great clarity. In this day and age, it is interesting and unusual when any Secretary of State is prepared to see power taken away from them. The Bill champions the cause of localism and local involvement, which is a good thing. Although the Bill cannot prove this of itself, there might well be opportunities to raise additional funds from trusts if potential donors understand that the trust is separate from, and not appointed by, Whitehall and Westminster, and that they can donate with confidence and comfort because the Charity Commission’s rules of governance for charitable trusts are writ large within the Bill as safeguards to ensure that any moneys raised are used for their proper purpose. I support the Bill entirely.

11.11 am

Kevin Foster (Torbay) (Con): It is a pleasure to speak in the debate and to support the Second Reading of the Bill. Discussing a Bill about Peter Pan proposed by Wendy was not one of the subjects I expected to debate in this Chamber when I was elected, but the Bill has a serious purpose as it makes clear the independence of the charitable trusts it covers.

It is right that we should have oversight when public money is being spent, and the NHS is subject to plenty of oversight, including through this Parliament, but this is not about taxpayers’ cash but about the additional money that people freely donate. People donating should have confidence that the trustees, who are completely independent and whose goals are solely those of the charity, will decide exactly how the funds will be used. A trustee or director appointed by the Secretary of State will clearly be cognisant of their duties under charity law to put the charity’s interests first, but being appointed by the Secretary of State creates the idea that such trustees are there to represent someone else: even though those who are familiar with the law will understand the role of a trustee, that is not the impression given. It makes sense that the charities referred to in the Bill are in a similar position to most other charities in the country and may, through their members and supporters, find trustees and appoint them to the board to exercise their duties rather than having someone appointed for them by the Government.

Charities in the NHS bring additionality to NHS services; they are not about replacing them or replacing funding from the taxpayer, but about doing extra things. I think particularly of the Torbay Hospital League of Friends, an independent charity that raises money to support services at Torbay hospital and uses its flexibility

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and independence to get people to donate. Its “This is critical” campaign aims to equip the critical care unit that is being built. Public money provides the basic service, whereas charitable bequests and donations enhance the service.

Anne Marie Morris: Does my hon. Friend agree that one of the benefits of this independence is that it encourages not only donations but people to give their time? Charities need not just money but volunteers to give their precious time not only for fundraising but to work with families, patients and young children. Does he have any thoughts on that?

Kevin Foster: My hon. Friend is absolutely right. Charities depend on the money and time donated. That might mean time donated to raise funds for the charity or, as she mentions, for other work. Everyone can take part, rich or poor. An hour donated is an hour donated. As she will know, Torbay hospital’s cafeteria is staffed by volunteers. It not only raises money for the charity in the hospital but provides a service. People might have come in and heard not great news, or they might be anxious and stressed with a relative in hospital, and they get a valuable pastoral service over a cup of tea and a cake from volunteers who, in some cases, have been involved for many years. They provide an excellent service.

Today, we are naturally talking about the structures and finances of a charity. As my hon. Friend the Member for North Dorset (Simon Hoare) said, we should ensure that the money cannot go on Lucky Lad in the 3.10, but we should also not forget that volunteers are at the heart of charities and how they operate and work. If the charities are truly independent, that will only enhance their ability to attract volunteers, get donations and make a difference.

Wendy Morton: Does my hon. Friend agree that, under this new model, charities will be able to bring in a new blend of skills and expertise, enabling them to increase capacity and build on their strengths?

Kevin Foster: My hon. Friend is absolutely right. In my constituency, for example, we have many people over the age of 60 who have retired from professional careers. They reach the point in life where they wish to retire from full-time work, but they still have skills and abilities that they want to offer, and might be thinking about a social rather than a financial reward. Having more flexibility in the charities’ structures means that they can bring in more of those people. People who might be slightly reticent about being appointed by the Secretary of State, perhaps because of their previous job, might be delighted to be involved in an independent charity that is committed solely to its objects.

Antoinette Sandbach: The risk attached to the appointment by the Secretary of State is the perception that it might be a political appointment when it is actually an independent appointment. That is what the Bill removes.

Kevin Foster: I could not have put it better myself. My hon. Friend is right that although the Secretary of State might appoint someone independent with skills and abilities such that they become a trustee by another route, the fact that they are appointed by the Secretary

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of State makes it appear that they are the Government’s person, even if they are diametrically politically opposed to the Government of the day. I am sure that the Minister will be able to think of examples of Government appointments who are not the most supportive of the current Administration.

Alistair Burt: Sometimes they are Ministers.

Kevin Foster: Indeed. This is a bit like the reforms to school governors, where we have reduced the number of local authority appointments. Although some were very independent minded and focused solely on the school and its interests, in other areas it was almost a tradition to have a certain number from Labour, a certain number from the Conservatives and a certain number from the Lib Dems.

Bob Stewart: None from the Lib Dems.

Kevin Foster: I accept that at the moment a Lib Dem and an endangered species have something in common. I will return to the subject of the Bill, despite the generous opportunity offered by my hon. and gallant Friend to make a remark about the political situation west of Bristol.

Why, as a Devon MP, am I keen to see the Bill make progress, given that it relates particularly to Great Ormond Street? As I said in my intervention on my hon. Friend the Member for Newton Abbot (Anne Marie Morris), the hospital provides specialist services that benefit the whole of the UK. The provisions on the “Peter Pan” copyright apply to all four nations in the United Kingdom, not just to England and Wales, as some of the other provisions in the Bill do. This hospital provides services that it clearly would not be practical to provide in individual areas and individual hospitals, because that pure specialty is needed. At least one person who has been in my surgery recently has benefited from Great Ormond Street’s work even though they are a resident of Torquay, because of the specialties that the hospital brings.

It is therefore right that we should make this provision that the J. M. Barrie bequest and copyrights can be properly applied, to the benefit of the hospital. It is nonsense to have two charities in place purely because of law that made sense at the time but which now looks like a legal accident, whereby the money has to go into one pot and cannot go into another pot, even though almost any other bequest in this country would be going into the one charity. As has been said, that means that money for patients—money for services—is going to lawyers and accountants. That is not right, which is why the Bill is so timely. It seeks to resolve that anomaly and give that certainty, particularly to Great Ormond Street, and to all the other trusts.

I am very pleased to be here to support this Bill, which will make a real difference. It may sound very technical—it sounded exceptionally technical when I first read it—but it will make a real impact on the ground in providing better services and better outcomes, and helping some of the sickest and most vulnerable people in our society. That is why it is right that the Bill receives its Second Reading. I am delighted that my hon. Friend the Member for Aldridge-Brownhills decided that this subject was the right choice for her private Member’s Bill slot, given the number of choices that would have been available to her, and it is good to see so much support here this morning from hon. Members.

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I look forward to hearing what the Minister will say in response to today’s debate—[Interruption.] I am glad he is looking forward to it, too. We are anticipating every moment of his speech, which I am sure will be a tour de force, given his knowledge of this area. We hope it will confirm that giving the Bill its Second Reading makes eminent sense and that it will move into Committee, so that we can turn it from a worthwhile Bill into a worthwhile Act of Parliament. I am delighted to endorse the Bill and I hope the whole House will support it.

11.22 am

Jeremy Lefroy (Stafford) (Con): I rise in support of this Bill, which has been promoted by my hon. Friend the Member for Aldridge-Brownhills (Wendy Morton).

I simply wish to make one point about the enormous role that charities and volunteers play in hospitals, particularly those such as Great Ormond Street. I recall that when I was growing up in London my parents used to offer accommodation to the parents of children who were at Great Ormond Street because, as many speakers have said, these people would come from all over the country and accommodation in London, even then, was expensive—now, of course, it is extortionate. Therefore, it is vital that hospitals, particularly children’s hospitals, can accommodate parents, siblings and loved ones in order that they can be close to their children in these times of need. That is why it is so important that whenever we are looking at the movement of hospital services for children, as is happening in my constituency with some in-patient services going north to Stoke or south to Wolverhampton, real consideration is given to providing full access to the children for relatives and loved ones at all times of day or night, with proper accommodation being provided, whether by volunteers in the community or by the hospital trust itself. It is often the role of these charities, as well as the hospital itself, to do that.

I welcome this Bill and all the work done by the charities linked to all the hospitals mentioned today, particularly Great Ormond Street. They do a tremendous job and it is vital that this Bill is enacted at the earliest opportunity.

11.24 am

Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg (North East Somerset) (Con): It is a great pleasure to rise in support of this Bill and in support of my hon. Friend the Member for Aldridge-Brownhills (Wendy Morton), who fills a seat that was taken by a most distinguished predecessor. Richard Shepherd was a wonderful Member of Parliament and a great parliamentarian. He believed so much in this institution, and we should all rejoice at the fact that my hon. Friend now takes his place and is showing herself to be a serious parliamentarian, committed to the processes of this House.

You, Madam Deputy Speaker, were not here last week when a new tradition began, which I would like to continue. It is that of congratulating the Chairman of Ways and Means on the brilliant way in which he carries out the ballot so that my hon. Friend should have come high enough up it for her Bill to come fourth. He carried out this draw with such characteristic efficiency and in such a workmanlike fashion that her

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Bill came out low enough down to be high enough up for it to be debated today. That is a very considerable achievement.

Simon Hoare rose

Mr Rees-Mogg: I give way to my hon. Friend.

Simon Hoare: I asked my hon. Friend to give way just to give the House pause to recalibrate itself as it gets used to the idea of him welcoming anything that is new.

Mr Rees-Mogg: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for making that point; occasionally there are innovations that are welcome, and this is one of them. For those who do not know, I should add that in the draw No. 1 used to be done first but now No. 20 is the Bill done first. It is like a game show: it brings more tension and atmosphere into the proceedings. That is how it has worked and how the Bills have come out in the way they have.

This is a superb Bill. It is the reason why private Members’ Bills exist, because it is deregulating. It is such a wonderfully Tory Bill. It is a properly Conservative Bill, because it takes—[Interruption.] I am so sorry, but I could not quite hear what the hon. Member for Newport West (Paul Flynn) was saying from a sedentary position. I am happy to give way if he wishes to intervene.

Why is it such a wonderfully Conservative Bill? It is because of its fundamental deregulatory nature. We have built up a state where more and more powers have been gathered to the centre, where Whitehall has the rule over all it purveys. It tells people what they must do. When it says jump, people have to say, “How high?” It was of course a Labour Cabinet Minister who said, “The fact of the matter is the man in Whitehall really does know best.” It has to be said that that was in 1947, but the fundamental principle underpinning what the socialists believe remains the same: that control should be centralised; that if instructions and diktats come from on high, the government of the country will be better run; and that individuals are not the people who can best take charge of this.

We, as Conservatives, reject that fundamentally, and it is this philosophy that underpins the Bill. We take the view that the millions of random decisions taken by individuals over how they should lead their lives means better decision making, better allocation of resources and a more contented and unified society overall. By taking power away from the Secretary of State—removing appointments from his control—the Bill allows every charity across the country that is involved in supporting the health service to set out what is appropriate for its community, for its region, for its county and for its area. In Somerset, we may well want different approaches from that which is suitable for the centre of London. Different approaches will be wanted in Dorset, Devon, Sussex and Surrey. Even in Gloucestershire they may have some thought as to how they wish to approach these things. [Interruption.] And in Hampshire, that fine county. Hampshire, one of the great counties, which was on the right side when Alfred beat Guthrum, is always to be admired in these contexts. These charities will decide what is appropriate and suitable for them, how they appoint and whom they have.

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One of my colleagues speaking earlier, I believe it was my hon. Friend the Member for Torbay (Kevin Foster), was talking about the risk that people would be appointed for nefarious political purposes, and of course that is what has always happened. In the 18th century, it was called jobbery. I always thought that was a good word because it so nicely encapsulates what happens as we get that corruption of baubles. The Government are the owner and disperser of baubles, and there is a corruption built in, as they give those baubles, initially, not to their friends specifically, but merely to those who are not opposed to them. In the case of somebody who is opposed, it would be “going too far” to allow an appointment to be made by the Secretary of State. It really “would not do” to appoint somebody on the other wing of politics.

Jeremy Lefroy: My hon. Friend shares my dislike of overweening Executive action. Does he agree that sometimes in this place, particularly on Report, too little time is given to Members to allow us to discuss the kinds of thing that the Executive wish to impose on us centrally?

Mr Rees-Mogg: I have great sympathy with what my hon. Friend says; it is so important that we have enough time. It is why Fridays are such a pleasure, because there is time to discuss a Bill in full and in the round, and to consider the principles underpinning it, the details of it, and what would happen to it if it were to be brought into effect. That is proper parliamentary procedure. I have such admiration for those great heroes of the 19th century—[Interruption]—talking of which I give way to my hon. Friend the Member for Beckenham (Bob Stewart).

Bob Stewart: I thank my great and hon. Friend, an advocate of the 16th century, for giving way. Does he consider appointments to the House of Lords to be the modern version of 17th-century baubles?

Mr Rees-Mogg: Madam Deputy Speaker is giving me one of her looks. As much as I would like to discuss reform of the House of Lords, I would be ruled out of order. If my hon. Friend will forgive me, I must get back to jobbery, because jobbery and avoiding jobbery are at the heart of the Bill.

I was explaining how jobbery, when it starts, is not a deliberate corruption. It is merely the recognition that it just would not do to appoint somebody on the other extreme of politics. We can hear Sir Humphrey going to the Secretary of State and saying, “It would be a little brave, Minister, to appoint such a person who is on so different a wing from you.” The next time an appointment comes up, there is the thought, “Well, if I couldn’t appoint someone who was actively opposed, perhaps I should really only appoint people who are on my side”—in other words, our mates and friends. Thus we get to the heart of jobbery. Appointments are made purely because of somebody’s political colour and context.

In the primary care trust in Bath and North East Somerset which preceded the current organisations a local Conservative had a judicial review against the previous Labour Government to get himself appointed as its chairman, because he was the most qualified person and had been refused only on the basis that he was a Conservative. Therefore, the idea that jobbery has completely left the system is false, and so too is the idea

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that Governments are so high and mighty and Olympian in their decision making that they do not descend to mere political jobbery.

Antoinette Sandbach: My hon. Friend might like to know that examples of jobbery abound in Wales. It might be useful to look at some of the appointments made by the Welsh Government to the various public bodies.

Madam Deputy Speaker (Mrs Eleanor Laing): Order. I must remind the hon. Lady for the sake of good form—I appreciate that she has not been in the House for very long so I am not reprimanding her—that she must address her remarks not to the hon. Gentleman, but to the Chair.

Mr Rees-Mogg: My hon. Friend makes an absolutely brilliant and crucial point. We want to get away from jobbery wherever it happens, and it is most likely to happen in areas where one party is in government for a very long time.

Paul Flynn: There is a current example of grotesque jobbery in the appointment by the Prime Minister of the Conservative Members of the Council of Europe, and three splendid Members, including the hon. Member for Christchurch (Mr Chope), have been—

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order. I really have tried to give as much leeway as I can this morning to this debate, but I cannot reconcile Great Ormond Street hospital with the Council of Europe. I am quite sure that, if the hon. Gentleman wishes to bring some kind of analogy from “Peter Pan”, Never Land and the Council of Europe, he can do so, but I must warn him that it will have to be really quite narrow.

Mr Rees-Mogg: There was an urgent question on the matter, and I do not think that there is any more for me to say on it.

Jobbery is a real problem. It comes more when a party is in office for a very long time. The system gets accustomed to appointing people who belong to routine consensus political views, and they are the ones who get the baubles.

Many of these charitable baubles are unpaid, but they come with a great deal of status in their communities, so there is a benefit to the person receiving them. It is right that such decisions should be more independent of the Government. It is right not just because of the ability to get away from jobbery, but because many people—those on the Treasury Bench will be shocked to hear this—do not trust the Government.

Simon Hoare: Shame!

Mr Rees-Mogg: I know. The Minister in his seat is looking appalled at that suggestion, but it is true. Many people think that if there is any possibility of the Government getting their grubby paws on a little bit of money, those grubby paws will dart out and the money will be raked in. There is of course a history of Government doing that. For example, hypothecated taxes have been introduced for particular purposes. When the Government run a bit short of money, or find that too much is being paid in the hypothecated taxes, they dehypothecate them—they put them to another purpose. I am thinking of national insurance, which was introduced as an insurance scheme, and of the road fund licence, which was introduced to build our roads. Both of those were

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syphoned off by Governments, arguably for very good reasons, which I will not go into because they are too broad for this Bill. I merely wish to illustrate the point that charities need to be robust in spending the money on what it has been given for, and not on any other thing, and if they cannot spend it on that which it has been given for, they should give it back to the people who gave it in the first place. The reason that that is important is partly that we believe in the rights of property—this is a Tory Bill. If property belongs to a specific designated purpose then that is what it is there for; it is not there to be used for any random purpose that someone thinks is a good idea at some later stage. There are many good purposes, and there are many charities that some people think do less good things than the good purpose that they have thought up, so there is always pressure to reallocate resources in the way that a Government, or some authority, think is preferable.

Kevin Foster: My hon. Friend is bringing his usual fairy dust to this debate. Does he agree that this is about people having confidence in the independence of the trustees, and believing that donations will be used exactly for the purpose of the charity? Furthermore, it is about removing any sense that those donations might be filling in for taxpayer funds.

Mr Rees-Mogg: I am extremely grateful for that intervention, because that is exactly the point. It is one of those occasions where rigour really helps. If donors feel that their money will be used properly, they are more willing to give. It is fascinating how charity law has developed in this direction in recent years. Historically, if people gave money to charities, they gave it to the charity for its general purposes. Then they discovered that the general purposes of charities included all sorts of jolly things, such as lunch at the Ritz, so increasingly they have given money for limited purposes, and the funds can then only be spent on those purposes, even within a single charity. For example, if people viewing this debate wish to make donations for the renewal and restoration of this Palace, that money could only be spent on the renewal and restoration of this Palace; it could not be used for other purposes. Charity law has gone that way because it encourages people to give, as they have confidence in how the money will be spent. That is crucial for NHS charities, because there is this large pool of Government money, but it is never quite enough. We hear of deficits, and hospitals and doctors wanting more money, and all of that is a constant pressure on the health service.

Wendy Morton: The reason behind the Bill and for removing the Secretary of State’s powers to appoint trustees stems from a consultation with the charities. The move to independence is something that the charities want, and it is a key part of the Bill. We are recognising that donations must be kept entirely separate from the money that comes from the Exchequer, and that it is also accounted for separately.

Mr Rees-Mogg: My hon. Friend really is a truly radical parliamentarian in the train of her predecessor, because she has been involved in a consultation that has actually listened to what people have said. This is a very

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dangerous precedent, and I cannot believe that the Government ever do anything of that kind. They always wait for the answer that they hoped for in the beginning. What a brilliant thing she has done, and I entirely agree with the point she makes, but it makes so much sense to reinforce the independence of charities and to ring-fence the money, because there are inevitable, inexorable pressures on NHS budgets. If there is a couple of million pounds sitting around at the end of the year and a waiting list and the hospital could do with a bit of cash, it could easily try to claw in the money. That is why ring-fencing and independence are so important to ensure that it is put beyond doubt that charities will do what they have been set up to do. That reassures people and will make them more generous.

I wish to raise one point with the Minister, however, that comes from a constituency experience. It relates to the independent charities using the trademark of the national health service. A constituent of mine runs a charity that has put defibrillators across the country, and he has done so in co-ordination with the NHS. The numbers needed to open the boxes are given out when people dial 999. The charity is supported by ambulance trusts, which have said that they want their logo put on the boxes. Now, some random bureaucratic body in the NHS protects its logo, and it has decided in its wisdom that the charity must spend some money removing all the NHS logos from a system backed by the NHS, operated with the NHS, but not formally part of the NHS. That seems to me the worst type of bureaucratic folderol imaginable. It is a stubborn refusal to allow something sensible to happen for no good reason other than that a rule must be rigorously enforced. The whole purpose of the boxes is to support the NHS, to make its job easier, and no one can open the box without having got in touch with the emergency services in the first place, and, as I say, the ambulance trusts want this to happen.

It concerns me that, if the charities are made formally independent, that same bureaucracy will be jumping up and down in a few weeks’ time and saying, “Well, you’re now an independent charity, so you can’t use the NHS logo because it will damage the NHS brand.” That is a perfectly ridiculous point of view to take. I could not have less sympathy for how that body is approaching the issue, rather than using the good common sense that is another Tory value and principle and allowing something that benefits everyone to happen. I hope that that will not be a problem emerging from the Bill. Perhaps an amendment can be inserted in Committee to say specifically that charities linked with the NHS are entitled to use NHS logos and trademarks. I hope that the Minister will look sympathetically on what I am saying about the charity in my constituency that is doing something really wonderful—it is saving hundreds of lives—but some petty bureaucrat is getting in the way. So I hope that an additional benefit will come from the Bill.

I have been saving up talking about J.M. Barrie and “Peter Pan” because I remember when the Bill—introduced by the late Lord Callaghan, a former Prime Minister—was passed in 1988 to extend the copyright on “Peter Pan” indefinitely, and I do so because I remember the late Lord Charteris starting a speech by pointing out that Captain Hook was an old Etonian. Lord Charteris was then the provost of Eton, and that was therefore immediately relevant and of interest to him, but it is also of interest to me because it has to be said that there

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are all sorts of old Etonians. There are the great and the good: the greatest figures in the land—our Prime Minister is an old Etonian, and he is one of the good lot—but we have at the other end the rogues’ gallery of old Etonians, where Captain Hook stands proud, along with people like Lord Lucan. Hon. Members know exactly what I mean. Captain Hook is there in that role to frighten the children, to keep them well behaved, just as Bonaparte was used in earlier times to frighten badly behaved children. I am rather proud of the fact that an old Etonian fills that role. It rebalances the scales so that we do not mislead people into thinking that all old Etonians are wonderful fellows. One or two of them are in the rogues’ gallery, but there is a balance: only in the past week, the new James Bond film has come out, and James Bond is, of course, another old Etonian. We have some good historical characters, as well as some villains, who are there to remind people that Eton is a serious school that produces people who will take all sorts of different sides in various cases.

What is happening with “Peter Pan” and Great Ormond Street hospital is a great combination of good sense and generosity. J.M. Barrie’s generosity was remarkable. He left his royalties to various people. He left them to Great Ormond Street hospital. He left some to Westminster school, and, where I must declare an interest, he left some to the Garrick club. Since the “Winnie-the-Pooh” money came into the Garrick club, the wine list has improved very considerably. So we all have a lot to be grateful to J.M. Barrie for, either directly or indirectly.

Simon Hoare rose

Mr Rees-Mogg: I give way to my fellow Garrick member.

Simon Hoare: I hate to contradict my proposer to the club, but I think that A.A. Milne gave his royalties to the Garrick, not J.M. Barrie.

Mr Rees-Mogg: I was confusing my authors of children’s literature. I got “Winnie-the-Pooh” right; I was just attributing it to the wrong man. I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that correction. So I do not have an interest to declare. I must de-declare my interest in relation to the topic on which I was talking.

Leaving such a legacy is a wonderfully generous thing to do, along with the flexibility in allowing the copyright law to be adapted so that one play can provide resources for a hospital, where the two come together. We all know the story very well. The childhood story of Peter Pan, ever-youthful—Madam Deputy Speaker, as I look at you, I see the ever-youthful Deputy Speaker—is a great one to combine with a children’s hospital, which is there to care for children at their weakest time, not just those from London, but those from across the country, as we have heard.

Kit Malthouse: My hon. Friend makes an interesting point. I wonder whether he supports legislation that would automatically extend the copyright of written works when donated for charitable purposes. I referred earlier to various authors, particularly children’s authors, who may now consider with greater likelihood leaving their copyright to hospitals and the like after their deaths. If they knew that the copyright would be automatically extended for the charity’s benefit, it might encourage even more of them to do so. Does he agree?

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Mr Rees-Mogg: That is an interesting point, but probably, no, I would not agree. Such an extension should happen in highly exceptional circumstances, rather than made a general rule, because copyright law needs to be simple and fair. If it were used to advance particular charities, it would give an option on copyright that was ultimately extendable to a charity of the donor’s choice and we might end up with strange, effectively, avoidance measures to pass money through generations and extensions that had not been intended in the legislation. The length of copyright is already quite long beyond the author’s death, and that provides plenty of charitable donations in the normal course of events. Although I believe in rigour in what one believes politically and in trying to follow logic through to its end, the fact that “Peter Pan” is such an exceptional play and Great Ormond Street is such an exceptional hospital shows that there should be exceptions that make the system fundamentally more human. Therefore, I am in favour of such an extension as a one-off, but I would not welcome it as a general rule.

I have one question for the Minister, however, on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. The trade agreement with the United States will look particularly at matters that relate to intellectual copyright. It might be important specifically to exclude “Peter Pan”—along with the French, who are excluding all their dodgy films, but that is slightly by the bye—because I can envisage a Hollywood studio making a film of “Peter Pan” and finding that it had to pay royalties in the United Kingdom but nowhere else, and that might conceivably fall foul of TTIP. I do not want to raise absurd difficulties for TTIP, which is a good scheme and is enormously welcome, but this is such an exception not just to our laws of copyright but to the normal international laws of copyright that it would be a pity if the system were not robust and could not continue. It may not be disastrous, because American film-makers are good, decent, noble people, and it is hard to think that they would be so mean-minded and damage their reputation, which is probably more to the point—[Interruption.] The hon. Member for Bootle (Peter Dowd) needs to shout a bit louder—I cannot hear his sedentary interruptions, but they sound fascinating, and I wish he would share them with the House. I am happy to give way if he wishes to intervene. American film-makers would not want to damage their reputation by being aggressive on “Peter Pan”.

Peter Dowd (Bootle) (Lab): Does the hon. Gentleman agree that he is damaging his reputation talking this nonsense?

Mr Rees-Mogg: If I were talking nonsense, Madam Deputy Speaker would rule me out of order under Standing Orders that refer to a speech being both tedious and repetitious. I do not think that I am being either of those, nor wandering—

Madam Deputy Speaker (Mrs Eleanor Laing): Order. For the avoidance of doubt, I do not need the hon. Gentleman’s help to know when nonsense is being talked in the Chamber. If nonsense were to be talked or repetition were to be undertaken I would stop it immediately.

Mr Rees-Mogg: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. That is a side concern, but it is something that everyone in the House wishes to see—

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Albert Owen: I apologise for missing the first 14 minutes of the hon. Gentleman’s short speech. He has discussed copyright law, and I know that he is an expert on company law. Does he have expertise on patent law, and will he stay in the Chamber to debate the next Bill? It would be helpful if he curtailed his speech and brought that expertise to bear on the next Bill so that we could have a proper debate and listen to his eloquent speech.

Madam Deputy Speaker (Mrs Eleanor Laing): Order. Sometimes it is difficult for the occupant of the Chair to work out whether an intervention or part of a speech is in order, but the hon. Gentleman has referred specifically to the next Bill, which is not in order. I caution Mr Rees-Mogg to be careful in his response to the hon. Gentleman, and stick to the Bill. By and by we will come to the next Bill.

Mr Rees-Mogg: Madam Deputy Speaker, I have never sought to model myself on Nostradamus, so I am not looking into a glass bowl lit by candles to see what will happen in future. I am concentrating on the here and now—the present—and this important and beneficial Bill. I have congratulated my hon. Friend the Member for Aldridge-Brownhills on introducing such a sound and wisely based measure that does something for the good of the whole nation and which will encourage the great vein of charitable giving that has provided so much for people across the centuries and shows what can be done beyond the state.

There is a feeling that everything has to be wrapped up and organised by Her Majesty’s Government: that welfare, health and education should come from the Government, and that no other parties should become involved. That is not true. We want to allow the natural charitable instincts of the British people to bloom, and they do. The British people are some of the most generous in the world, not because they are chugged and all those things, but because it is in their nature. It is their instinct to want to support good causes. That is why, across the country, we have wards bearing people’s names which have been built as a result of the generosity of benefactors who want better health care in the United Kingdom. That is why there are organisations such as the Wellcome Trust, which is a charitable organisation that improves the quality of medicine, and why people work from a charitable basis to develop new medicines and care, particularly palliative care, much of which is provided by the voluntary sector. I was a trustee for some years of St John and St Elizabeth, a hospital near Lord’s cricket ground, which provides the only hospice in central London, funded by charitable donations from those who feel that looking after people at the end of their life is a fundamental calling, and is not something that can invariably be done by the state.

Not every charge should go to the state; not every action should be borne by the state or taxpayer. It is right and proper that we allow charity to flourish and bloom, but then we have to put it in a protective envelope and protect it not just from this Government but from Governments to come, who may see that as a useful source of revenue and think that they can cut a few corners. They may find at the end of the year that they are a little short of money, which can be raised by selling off charities as assets. There are Governments who do those things: they run into financial crises and are desperate to do them. The Bill provides a statutory

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framework to protect charities. When people know that their money is protected they are more likely to give generously. That is something that has underpinned all economic activity in this country for centuries: the certainty that, under the rule of law, someone’s property is theirs to do what they like with, and will be used for the purpose for which they have given it if it is donated to charity.

Reinforcing and ring-fencing that and putting it into a short Bill is a magnificent thing to do. It is one little notch that the axeman is making, cutting down the great oak tree of excessive governmental interference. I hope that we will have more private Members’ Bills of this kind, and that the axeman will swing his axe more vigorously and the cuts—the nicks—become bigger and bigger until the overarching tree comes down and we have a greater and freer society in which individuals can do more from their own talents, their property is protected and the dead hand of the state is removed as far as possible.

11.56 am

Antoinette Sandbach (Eddisbury) (Con): I am grateful for the opportunity to take part in the debate. I am pleased to follow my hon. Friend the Member for North East Somerset (Mr Rees-Mogg), who spoke with characteristic authority, certainly educating the newer Members, among whom I count myself.

I support the Bill introduced by my hon. Friend the Member for Aldridge-Brownhills (Wendy Morton). She cited the hospital that serves my constituency in Eddisbury, the Alder Hey hospital, as an example of successful independence from the NHS trust. To show how valuable that is, the hospital moved in October to new premises and became Alder Hey in the Park, a brand new £237 million hospital with 270 beds and 16 brand new operating theatres equipped with state-of-the-art technology. It treats 275,000 children across the north-west and north Wales, and is as important a centre for children’s health, medicine and research as Great Ormond Street in London.

The charitable part of Alder Hey became independent in the way proposed by the Bill in April. The charity has contributed £20 million for equipment in Alder Hey hospital, and because it is independent it is separate from the hospital board. In my previous role, I had experience of cases in which the hospital board and the NHS charity were integrated, and in which the charity did not have the independent thinking that is clearly demonstrated by the Alder Hey charity and the other six charities referred to by my hon. Friend in her eloquent explanation of the Bill. It is clearly a vital step for those bigger charities to achieve perceived independence.

Kevin Foster: It will be not just independence but the flexibility to bring in different skills and talents that will benefit the charity, its objectives and, ultimately, patients.

Antoinette Sandbach: I entirely agree with my hon. Friend. One important step being taken by Alder Hey is in ground-breaking research, and the charity allows it to get funding that will help in those aims.

The new facilities at Alder Hey are extraordinary, designed in part by former child patients. A group of children aged 10 to 22 who had stayed in the hospital contributed towards the design of the new Alder Hey in the Park. I invite Members from across the House to

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consider visiting the hospital to see the invaluable work that it does. As my hon. Friend the Member for Aldridge-Brownhills said, funding from NHS charities contributes to innovation and research.

Kit Malthouse: Perhaps I should declare an interest. I was born in Alder Hey hospital and had a myringotomy there when I was eight—a surgical procedure where the eardrum is taken out to drain excess fluid. Grommets are now used instead.

On independence, one thing that is critical to the success of charities is the tax relief that they attract, which is a serious incentive for donors. Does my hon. Friend agree that if a charity has its trustees appointed by the Secretary of State and is working closely with, in effect, an organ of the state, an NHS hospital, there might be some question about whether that charity should be entitled to tax relief, given that it is effectively part of the state, and that the move to greater independence is likely to make any challenge to that status recede?

Antoinette Sandbach: Indeed. My hon. Friend the Member for North East Somerset made a similar point. It is important that that independence is seen, is effective and is understood in the public domain. Sadly, there are some examples of NHS charities that are deeply influenced by their boards and are not seen to be independent in the way that my hon. Friends described.

Some £2 billion worth of assets are under the control of NHS charities and there is a combined annual income of about £30 million. These are significant sums which, as has been pointed out, are intended for the benefit of patients, and should not go into administration and the endless accounts and tick box exercises that are required if two parallel charities are run side by side. The Charities Commission has great expertise in the oversight of charities and in ensuring that charities’ income goes to the appropriate causes for which they were set up.

My hon. Friend the Member for Aldridge-Brownhills made an important point about the unlimited liability of charitable trustees, which is a very big personal risk. If anything goes wrong, such as some awful fraud, charitable trustees with unlimited liability have personal liability and could lose their homes and everything they own. As a result, some people are unwilling to become trustees of such charities. My hon. Friend’s Bill allows some protection, if trusts choose to have it, giving trustees limited liability. That is likely to broaden the range of people prepared to take on these roles.

It has been noted that this is trustees week, and a constituent of mine, Jeannie France-Hayhurst, is a trustee of the Alder Hey charity who provides a great deal of service. I know that she would encourage and would want others to encourage people from a wide range of backgrounds and a broad range of experience to get involved in their local charities.

In my constituency, Eddisbury, we have two good examples of local charities. One is the Tarporley War Memorial hospital, which was set up many years ago. It is independent of the NHS and is entirely funded by the community through charitable fundraising and charitable giving. That is exactly the type of activity that my hon. Friend the Member for North East Somerset was talking about, allowing communities to come together and work to deliver services in their area. The hospital specialises in the rehabilitation of the elderly, intermediate care and palliative care. It has 17 beds and is extremely

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well supported in my constituency. There is a wonderful double-decker bus that drives around with vintage clothing for sale. The bus parks in towns and villages in my constituency on a set day every week—in effect, a mobile shop to which members of the public can come. It is a wonderful sight and is entirely staffed by volunteers, like much of the other fundraising that goes on to support Tarporley War Memorial hospital. It is a great example of an independent charity that can support the delivery of NHS functions.

The hospital is used by local GPs to provide clinics closer to those who need their services. Staff from the local hospitals, such as the Leighton hospital and the Countess of Chester hospital, can travel to Tarporley War Memorial hospital and provide outreach services such as maternity services, dressings clinics and minor injuries treatment. It is a great example of how an independent charity can stand on its own two feet and provide great support and services to the local community.

The other charity in my constituency which exemplifies that is St Luke’s hospice, which is based in Winsford. It describes itself as a small hospice with a big heart, and I can vouch for that. It, too, is looking at ways of extending the palliative care that it provides and broadening the services that it delivers in the local community. It has fantastic outreach services which support those who are frail, those with failing health, those who are ageing, dying or grieving, and those who have dementia. It has broadened its remit from palliative care and is looking at how it can deliver services closer to constituents’ homes. I commend the hospice for its work. I know that my hon. Friend the Member for Weaver Vale (Graham Evans), who is not here today, has fundraised extensively to support St Luke’s hospice, as have many other neighbouring Members of Parliament who know the invaluable service that it delivers locally.

Craig Williams (Cardiff North) (Con): My constituency has a number of hospices and charities—Velindre cancer centre and George Thomas hospice—to which I could apply my hon. Friend’s comments about those in her constituency. I know that she has experience in the Welsh political environment, as do I. Does she agree that it is refreshing to see, I hope, this Government and this Parliament giving away power over the appointment of trustees?

Antoinette Sandbach: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for raising that matter. He will be aware of the extensive issues at the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, where at times there have been appointments that could be characterised as highly political. Indeed, an individual described as “the axeman” was recently appointed. Given the threat to maternity services at the hospital—my hon. Friend the Member for Vale of Clwyd (Dr Davies) and I have campaigned for them to be retained—I am well aware of those concerns.

Albert Owen: The hon. Lady is right to point to Alder Hey’s excellent record. It covers north Wales and my constituency, so I have been there on many occasions. There are trustees from Wales on English hospital boards, and the difficulty with recent legislation is that we do not know whether their role will continue. Welsh trustees on English boards and their Members of Parliament will have difficulty in future. Is she as concerned as I am about that, and does she agree that we need further clarification?

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Antoinette Sandbach: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for raising that point, because one issue with the service reorganisation in north Wales is that the new SuRNICC centre—the sub-regional neonatal intensive care centre—has not yet been built. It was due to be completed by next March, but the first sod has not even been dug out of the ground. Instead, because of the threat to maternity services in north Wales, very sick babies are having to travel over the border to Leighton hospital in Cheshire in order to access the services they need.

The wonderful thing about an independent charity is that, when it comes to appointing trustees, there are no limitations based on where they live or anything of that nature. Trustees should be independent, free-thinking, able to provide good advice and genuinely committed to the charity for which they act, as they have heavy legal responsibilities. I certainly do not imagine that there would be any discrimination on the basis of nationality.

Albert Owen: The point I was making is that under English votes for English laws, Welsh Members of Parliament with constituents who are trustees on English boards will not be allowed to vote on legislation affecting them. It might be a technical point, but it is hugely important to my constituents.

Antoinette Sandbach: I am so grateful to the hon. Gentleman for making that point, because health services that my constituents access are affected by decisions taken in Wales. The threat to maternity services in north Wales will have a direct impact on the resources of the county of Cheshire and Leighton hospital, yet they have no say in those decisions—even the hon. Gentleman has no say—because they are taken in Cardiff.

Kevin Foster: It is very tempting to go down that path and discuss various issues relating to devolution, but I am conscious, Madam Deputy Speaker, that to do so would not be in order. Does my hon. Friend agree that the benefit of the Bill is that it would make the charities independent so that they can select who is best to be on their board of trustees from the whole area, regardless of politics or boundaries?

Antoinette Sandbach: That is precisely why I support the Bill, and it is no doubt why my hon. Friend the Member for Aldridge-Brownhills has attracted support from so many Members today. The crucial matter is independence. Unfortunately, in my previous role I had experiences that went the other way when independence was lacking, and that had a negative impact on outcomes for my constituents.

Mr Howarth: Will the hon. Lady give way?

Antoinette Sandbach: I am afraid not, because I must make some progress.

Alder Hey hospital has been leading the way with regard to what is now happening at Great Ormond Street hospital. I completely support the aims of the Bill relating to the intellectual property rights for “Peter Pan”. That situation is almost unique. The advantage of the Bill, as hon. Members have pointed out, is that successful authors who might wish to allow their rights to go to a local children’s hospital, or indeed other health services, could have confidence that they would be leaving them to an independent charity without any perception of political appointment or interference. I hope that will encourage other authors to consider

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supporting the great research and work done at Great Ormond Street hospital and Alder Hey hospital when making bequests.

Peter Pan said it best:

“All you need is faith, trust and a little bit of pixie dust.”

I suspect that in this case we need faith, trust and a little bit of Wendy dust. If we can humbly sprinkle a little of our Wendy dust, we can use this Bill to sort out the legislative mess for the children at Great Ormond Street hospital and, I hope, the other 16 charitable trusts to which my hon. Friend the Member for Aldridge-Brownhills referred.

12.17 pm

Mr George Howarth (Knowsley) (Lab): I just want to say what I would have said had the hon. Member for Eddisbury (Antoinette Sandbach) allowed me to intervene. First, I associate myself with everything she said about Alder Hey hospital, because many of my constituents have good reason to be grateful for the services it has provided over many years. Secondly, although I am not opposed to the Bill, I want to point out that trustees—I speak as a member of a board of trustees for a charity in my constituency—in addition to exercising independence, are expected to behave responsibly. My concern about unlimited liability is that when trustees do not behave responsibly—we have seen the recent example of Kids Company—they will not necessarily be penalised in any way. There is a slight problem if trustees do not behave responsibly.