Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Fourteenth Report

Annex 3


Letter from Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health, to the Chairman

I am writing in response to the Committee's Report on the Community Care (Delayed Discharges etc.) Bill to set out what the Government's intentions are with respect to the specific points that the Committee raised.

In paragraph 5 of the Report the Committee comments that it would be helpful if when drawing up memoranda on delegated powers in bills involving both England and Wales, Government departments would say whether, and if so how, the devolution arrangements had influenced our decision making as to which Parliamentary procedure had applied in relation to instruments applying in England. Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville also raised this point at Committee Stage of the bill, and I am sorry that the Committee has not received an earlier response. I can now confirm that the devolution arrangements have not in any way influenced our decision as to which Parliamentary procedure should be applied in relation to instruments applying to England.

In paragraph 7 the Committee also outlines its concerns that there is nothing on the face of the bill to indicate how the daily payments that the local authority is to make to the NHS in respect of delayed discharge is to be calculated. We accept the Committee's point on this issued and intend to bring forward a Government amendment at Report Stage of the bill, which will circumscribe the power by broadly setting out the basis for the calculation of the charge.

March 2003

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