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Sal Brinton and Paul Scriven defeat Government in Lords over NHS procurement

Lib Dem Peers Sal Brinton and Paul Scriven helped inflict a defeat on the Government in the House of Lords last night.

Their amendment to the Procurement Bill would ensure that the NHS came under the provisions of the Bill and would not give the Health Secretary the power to make up their own rules at their whim.

Sal told Peers:

The Health and Care Act adds new Section 12ZB to the National Health Service Act, which says:

“Regulations may make provision in relation to the processes to be followed and objectives to be pursued … in the procurement of (a) health care services … and (b) other goods or services”.

The problem is that the new section goes on to say:

“Regulations under subsection (1) must, in relation to the procurement of all health care services … make provision for the purposes of ensuring transparency; ensuring fairness; ensuring that compliance can be verified; managing conflicts of interest”.

That is a very different bar of compliance than the Government want to see for every other part of the public sector covered by the Bill.

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