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Health Bill partially recommitted

Key changes to the Health Bill will go back to the Public Bill Committee to be amended, but the whole bill will not be recommitted.

Labour had argued that the bill had been altered to such an extent that the whole bill should be sent back in its entirety to the committee.

But health minister, Simon Burns, while accepting the changes were ‘substantial and significant' insisted the whole bill did not need to be recommitted..

He said: ‘Unnecessary delays will only cause harm for patients and add to the pressure on hospitals and commissioners as they make their modernisation plans. They will prevent clinicians on the ground from making the changes they believe will help to improve and save people's lives.'

The decision to ‘recommit' parts of the Bill was passed by a majority of 73 on Monday.

Some 63 of the Bill's clauses will be recommitted, amending 35 of them, and a further 5 clauses added to the Bill. In total, there will be 160 amendments to the legislation.

Shadow health secretary, John Healey, said: ‘What the public and patients want is to get to the bottom of the changes the Government said they were bringing in. They want us to do our proper job of scrutinising the detail and for that we need some time to do so – with the full Bill recommitted to the Public Bill committee.'

The committee will sit from Tuesday June 28 to July 14 to write the changes to clinical commissioning groups, the NHS Commissioning board, the role of Monitor, foundation trusts, Health and Wellbeing Boards and HealthWatch.

Once the amendments have been made the Bill will go back to the commons for report and third reading stage, expected during the September sitting of the commons after which it will go to the House of Lords.

During Monday's debate, Labour MP, Kevin Brennan said the last bill to be partially recommitted to a committee was the Mineral Workings Bill in 1951.