1. November 2011 13:30
Several Liberal Democrat peers are supporting a number of amendments to the Health Bill focused on the regulation of competition within the NHS.
Several senior Lib Dem peers support the amendments and could force the Government to change aspects of the controversial legislation following concerns the Bill could still extend the application of European competition law to the NHS.
Lord Clement-Jones, a former Lords health spokesman who backs the changes, says the amendments would “balance the competitive powers and the integrating duties”.
More than a dozen amendments have been tabled by Lib Dem peers. They include the constraint of Monitor’s action against anti-competitive behaviour, that private income generated by Foundation Trusts would be used solely for the benefits of NHS patients, and that public interest be considered when the Office of Fair Trading is consider mergers.
Speaking to the HSJ, Lord Clement-Jones said he and his colleagues aimed to “make sure we didn’t fall into having a health service covered by European competition law” and that “we don’t have competition red in tooth and claw across the health service”.
The consideration of the Bill at the committee stage in the House of Lords is set to continue until the New Year.