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Baroness Cumberlege: It will be placed in the Library tomorrow. It is a document which has been drawn up after a great deal of consultation with the postgraduate medical deans. It looks at the contracts of junior doctors and other issues that we shall be addressing in later amendments. Basically, it says that contracts for education should be placed with the postgraduate medical deans and contracts for their terms and conditions of service with the trusts.
Lord Stoddart of Swindon: Before my noble friend replies, perhaps I may ask a question about the £150 million which will be saved. As parliamentarians, we are often told that we will save money, but later we never know how it has been saved. Is it the Government's intention to make reports to Parliament as to how much of the £150 million has been saved and where it has gone?
Baroness Cumberlege: We have given an undertaking that all the money that is saved will go back into patient care. Many of us rejoice at that. Clearly when it comes to the annual public expenditure survey round a great deal of detail is available to Members of this place.
Baroness Jay of Paddington: I thank the Minister for giving that detailed reply to the points raised by me, the noble Baroness, Lady Robson, and my noble friends. The degree to which the Minister was able to give us the detail to some of the points that we raised was a clear indication that she saw that some of the points we made were serious and worthy of such a response. As she said, many of those points will be returned to in subsequent amendments. The issues, especially relating to public health and nurse education, which the Minister herself raised, will be ones which we shall discuss in detail. She may not be surprised to hear that I am not reassured totally at the moment by what she said in general about those and other specific points.
I should like to pick up the point made by the noble Lord, Lord Peyton, about the quaintness of consultation. What the Minister has just said in her response, especially to my noble friend Lord Rea, about the position the Government are now taking on postgraduate education and the role of the postgraduate deans at the regional level of health organisation is an exact and good example of the way in which consultation after the eventafter a Bill is publishedis achieved. We all know that when the Bill was first published grave concern was felt, especially by the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals of universities. The Government consulted, with the results that the Minister has been able to announce today.
Lord Peyton of Yeovil: I am much obliged to the noble Baroness for giving way. The point I was seeking to make was not that consultation in general was ridiculous, but that it could be, and it was, particularly ridiculous in the context in which she proposed it.
Baroness Jay of Paddington: All I can say to the noble Lords is that the Minister has demonstrated, in particular in relation to a complicated measure such as this, that consultation after the eventafter a Bill has been published, and after it has been considered, as it has in this case, by one House of Parliamentcan result in an interesting and useful amendment which is not put on the face of the Bill but which is achieved by consultation outside and leads to a greater understanding and approval of the regulations by those involved. That is the simple point that I was making and the simple point that is contained in the first part of my amendment.
However, I also make the point, as Members of the Committee who were present on Second Reading will know, that we on these Benches firmly opposed the principle of the Bill, which was included in the terms of the abolition of the regional health authorities. I, as a relatively junior Member of this place do not need to remind the Committee that it is not the convention of this place to divide on Second Reading. But if speakers from the Government Benches are now suggesting that it would be appropriate for us to divide on Second Reading when we oppose the principle of a Bill, that is something which I am sure will be of great interest to many Members other than those taking part in the Committee this afternoon.
What has been demonstrated generally this afternoon in our discussion on the substance of the amendment, which of course is the substance of the principle of the Bill, is that there isif I may call it such a thinga philosophical divide in the Committee between those on these Benches and those on the Government Benches about the nature of the NHS. We see the abolition of the RHAs as a way of reducing standards of excellence in the NHS and of reducing the public accountability of what is one of our most important public services. For those reasons, I should like to test the opinion of the Committee.
Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.