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Division No. 2


Anelay of St Johns, B.
Astor of Hever, L.
Biffen, L.
Blaker, L.
Blatch, B.
Boardman, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Burnham, L. [Teller]
Byford, B.
Caithness, E.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Colwyn, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L.
Cranborne, V.
Crickhowell, L.
Cumberlege, B.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Flather, B.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Geddes, L.
Glentoran, L.
Hanham, B.
Hayhoe, L.
Henley, L. [Teller]
Higgins, L.
Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.
Hooper, B.
Howe, E.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Kingsland, L.
Laing of Dunphail, L.
Lyell, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
Mancroft, L.
Marlesford, L.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Moynihan, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Naseby, L.
Noakes, B.
Norton of Louth, L.
O'Cathain, B.
Onslow, E.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Perry of Southwark, B.
Prior, L.
Rawlings, B.
Reay, L.
Rees, L.
Renton, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Selsdon, L.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Strathclyde, L.
Swinfen, L.
Taylor of Warwick, L.
Tebbit, L.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Trefgarne, L.
Trumpington, B.
Tugendhat, L.
Vivian, L.
Walton of Detchant, L.
Young, B.


Acton, L.
Ahmed, L.
Alli, L.
Amos, B.
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Bach, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Berkeley, L.
Billingham, B.
Borrie, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L.
Burlison, L.
Carter, L. [Teller]
Castle of Blackburn, B.
Christopher, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Colville of Culross, V.
Currie of Marylebone, L.
David, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Desai, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Eatwell, L.
Elder, L.
Erroll, E.
Evans of Watford, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Gale, B.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Gilbert, L.
Goldsmith, L.
Grabiner, L.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Grenfell, L.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Haskel, L.
Healey, L.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Chesterton, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jay of Paddington, B. (Lord Privy Seal)
Jeger, B.
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Levy, L.
Lipsey, L.
Longford, E.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller]
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
Mallalieu, B.
Masham of Ilton, B.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Mishcon, L.
Molloy, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Northfield, L.
Paul, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Puttnam, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Rea, L.
Richard, L.
Rix, L.
Sawyer, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Shepherd, L.
Simon, V.
Smith of Leigh, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Tordoff, L.
Turnberg, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Warner, L.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Weatherill, L.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

22 Mar 2001 : Column 1574

5.37 p.m.

[Amendment No. 227 not moved.]

Clause 35 agreed to.

Clause 36 [Making pilot schemes]:

[Amendment No. 227AA not moved.]

Clause 36 agreed to.

Schedule 2 agreed to.

Clause 37 [Designation of priority neighbourhoods or premises]:

[Amendment No. 227A not moved.]

Clause 37 agreed to.

Clause 38 [Reviews of pilot schemes]:

Earl Howe moved Amendment No. 228:

    Page 45, line 21, at end insert "and

(c) any provider of pharmaceutical services locally,"

The noble Earl said: Clause 38 sets out conditions for the review of "each pilot scheme" established for local pharmaceutical services. Such a review is necessary to ensure that the pilot scheme is achieving its objectives. The results of all reviews of pilot schemes will, presumably, be collated in a way that ensures that permanent arrangements for local pharmaceutical services will follow.

Clause 38(3) seeks to describe the persons who must be consulted when reviewing the pilot scheme. The intention behind the amendment is to give an opportunity for those persons providing pharmaceutical services locally to contribute to the review. Local pharmaceutical services pilots are an experiment to simplify contractual arrangements for dispensing medicines. However, what they should not

22 Mar 2001 : Column 1575

do--indeed, are not intended to do--is to provide a mechanism for predatory chemists to take over existing business. Small, local pharmaceutical businesses are already being taken over by larger companies in a fiercely competitive market. The local chemist, or dispensing doctor, may be less able to take part in a pilot scheme, but he provides a valued local service and should be allowed to comment if he sees his business being unfairly taken away. I beg to move.

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The noble Earl referred to predatory chemists. The whole approach that we have taken in the pharmacy strategy is to draw a careful balance. There is no doubt that the community pharmacy environment is highly competitive and very much reflects the intensely commercial environment for retail trade generally.

It would have been possible for the Government to have opted for a wholesale deregulation and, for instance, to have removed control of entry rules completely to allow for ever more competition. However, we decided not to do that. We decided to adopt a middle way which recognises the important network of community pharmacies that we have but also, through mechanisms such as local pharmacy services, develops some incentives to help focus attention on improving quality.

No one can say that every current community pharmacist will thrive and prosper in the future. But what we can say is that those who are up to the challenge of providing higher quality services will be in the best position to ensure their future prosperity. The noble Earl said he thought that LPS might not relate to very small community pharmacies. I see no reason why that should be the case. I assure him that we shall look for imaginative proposals from community pharmacies of all sizes. I believe that that is relevant to the question of review. It is important that we have inclusive and thorough reviews. However, I am not convinced that the noble Earl's amendment is the right approach to securing such thoroughness.

The review and evaluation of a pilot scheme will involve seeking the views of people well beyond the scheme itself. That will include other local pharmacies. Having required health authorities to assess the likely effects of pilot schemes on local services before they put them forward for approval in the first place, it naturally follows that our reviewers of schemes will also be interested in what those effects have been in practice. However, I do not believe that putting on the face of primary legislation the detail of who would be involved in those reviews is the best way forward.

I also believe that there is a danger of giving an impression that these reviews concern primarily the health authority and the provider, the LPS, lobbying to keep the scheme going, with, on the other hand, the scheme's commercial competitors arguing for it to cease. Clearly we need to go beyond that to provide rounded reviews which give a much more impartial and sensible summary of the effectiveness of the scheme, its impact and how well the public interest has been served. I hope that the noble Earl will accept that

22 Mar 2001 : Column 1576

I recognise the competitive environment in which community pharmacists operate, but we cannot put a ring fence round that. The environment is competitive. LPS is an important way of investing in higher quality services. However, I believe that we have adopted the right balance between leaving the control of entry regulations as they are--apart from some specific areas where we want to see flexibility--and encouraging new investment and innovation.

5.45 p.m.

Earl Howe: I did not in the least mean to suggest that there should be a protectionist flavour to this part of the Bill. The Minister is right to suggest that no one has an automatic right to be in business and it is a competitive world out there. However, he said earlier that consultation was part and parcel of the department's way of proceeding. That was the only suggestion behind the amendment. Nevertheless I take comfort from what he said about wishing to conduct rounded reviews. I am sure that what he said will be reassuring in that context. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 38 agreed to.

Clauses 39 to 47 agreed to.

Schedule 3 [LPS Schemes]:

Baroness Northover moved Amendment No. 228A:

    Page 82, line 6, at end insert--

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