HL Deb 20 March 1997 vol 579 cc1091-2

116 In the Title, line 3, leave out ("ophthalmic,")

117 Line 6, after ("Authorities") insert ("and Health Boards; to make provision about ophthalmic services").

Baroness Cumberlege

My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 116 and 117. These amendments change the Long Title of the Bill to reflect two provisions added to the Bill since its original introduction in this House. At Report stage in this House we introduced an amendment to deal with the expenditure of health boards and in another place we added a provision which amended the Opticians Act 1989. These amendments ensure that the Long Title covers both of these and thus correctly reflects the contents of the Bill. I commend the amendments.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 116 and 117.—(Baroness Cumberlege.)

Baroness Jay of Paddington

My Lords, we welcome these amendments, which reflect changes made in the Bill. As this is the last group of amendments, I thank the Minister for her kindness in discussing this complicated process with those of us on these Benches in the past few days. Although I said at the beginning of consideration of Commons amendments that we were concerned about the speed with which this had to be done, the Minister did everything that she could to help us consider the amendments. They have improved the Bill and we welcome them.

Baroness Robson of Kiddington

My Lords, I join in the congratulations to the Minister. She has, as usual, been always delightful in guiding us in the right direction—and has not been very "lengthy", which I appreciate. I believe that all of us are absolutely certain that the Bill has been improved by these amendments. Many of us feel that what has been said in this House has to some extent influenced amendments in the other place. We welcome the amendments and wish the Bill a good future.

Baroness Cumberlege

My Lords, I shall be very brief. I pay tribute to all noble Lords who have taken part in debates on the Bill. I thank them for their unfailing courtesy and, where necessary, the co-operation of the noble Baroness, Lady Jay, and her colleagues, and the noble Baroness, Lady Robson. I thank my noble friends for the support that they gave. I also thank my outstanding Whip, who has kept me in order throughout the course of the Bill.

On Question, Motion agreed to.