- Yesterday (14 July 2021) MPs rejected a Labour amendment to decline the Second Reading of the Health and Care Bill by 359 (no) to 218 (yes). They then voted 356 (yes) to 219 (no) to approve the Second Reading.
- The Bill will now go to the Public Bill Committee stage, probably in September.
- Get ready to tell the Public Bill Committee about the damage this Bill will do to the NHS in your Integrated Care System area, and what you want them to do about the Bill.
We can all submit evidence to the Public Bill Committee
The UK Parliament website has this info (below) about how the public can have input into legislation:
Submitting evidence to a Public Bill Committee
After the second reading of a bill in the House of Commons, it will usually be referred to a Public Bill Committee for detailed examination of the bill. The committee may invite members of the public to submit their views.
This is the Health and Care Bill webpage, for info.
Committees usually begin by inviting ministers or other officials to talk to them in person about the bill. They may invite lobby groups, organisations or individuals with a particular interest in the subject to give their views in this way. If you think you or your organisation should be invited, you can contact the Department of Health and Social Care officials responsible for the bill.
We will post their contact details asap, or you can find out by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 020 7219 4272 020 7219 4272. (Listed here as the folk to contact for enquiries about a Bill going through the House of Commons.)
You can contact the Scrutiny Unit for more information on giving evidence to Public Bill Committees.
Giving written evidence
Committees can also ask for written evidence from organisations and members of the public.
What happens once the evidence has been gathered?
Once the Public Bill Committee has finished taking evidence, it will report its findings to the House of Commons, with suggestions for amendments or changes to the bill. These will be debated in the House of Commons chamber.
Tory source: “I don’t think there are any Conservatives that actually want this bill to happen”
A Health Service Journal reporter has been talking to a Conservative who is “close to the legislative process” and highly sceptical about the Bill. The source told reporter Sharon Brennan,
“The health secretary doesn’t seem to support it and I am not sure how that will play out. This bill is so big it’s going to get bogged down. It is not a stable situation that this bill has been launched into.
“The big issue is I don’t think there are any Conservatives that actually want this bill to happen. Most of the back benchers won’t yet know what it is and the first they’ll hear will be concerns about it. It must also be the first instance of a health bill introduced without the health secretary’s support.”
”We could see a world in six months’ time of lots of rows over this without it doing anything to help with waiting times, and MPs asking why are we doing this?”
All of us with Conservative MPs, let’s be sure to tell them our well-founded concerns about the Bill, maybe they too will come to see this Bill doesn’t deserve their support. If the Secretary of State doesn’t support it, why should they?
You can read more of Sharon Brennan’s Health Service Journal piece here –