HL Deb 17 June 1999 vol 602 cc476-8

88 Clause 59, page 66, line 17, leave out from beginning to end of line 39 and insert—

("(2) The power of a Minister of the Crown under section 60 to appoint a day for any of the following provisions to come into force in relation to Wales—

  1. (a) sections 1 to 5, (Delegation of Health Authority functions relating to pilot schemes and section 28C arrangements), 6, 7, 9, (Local representative committees), 10 to 16 and Schedule 1,
  2. 477
  3. (b) sections 23 to 29,
  4. (c) section 58(1) and Schedule 4, so far as concerns the following provisions of that Schedule: paragraphs 1 to 13, 20 to 23, 24(a), 25 to 32, 34, 35 (except sub-paragraph (2)(b) and (d)), 36, 37, 67, 68, 70, 71, 72(b), 73 to 75A, 76 (except sub-paragraph (2)(b)), paragraphs 78, 79, 80 (except sub-paragraph (2)(a)) and 82 to 85,
is exercisable instead by the National Assembly for Wales.

  1. (3) In Schedule 5 to the Government of Wales Act 1998 (bodies and offices covered by section 74), after paragraph 12 there is inserted—
  2. "12A. The Commission for Health Improvement".
  3. (4) The National Assembly for Wales (Transfer of Functions) Order 1999 is amended as follows; and those amendments are to have effect as if made by an Order in Council under section 22 of the Government of Wales Act 1998 (transfer of Ministerial functions).
  4. (5) In Schedule 1—
  1. (a) in the entry for the 1977 Act, after paragraph (c) there is inserted—
(cc) section 43C; (ccc) sections 46 to 49E",. (b) at the end of the entry for the 1990 Act, there is inserted— The references above to paragraph 1 of Schedule 3 are references to that paragraph before the amendments made by section 15 of the Health Act 1999. The Treasury consent requirement under paragraph 8 of that Schedule (inserted by Schedule 4 to the Health Act 1999), so far as relating to the matters referred to in paragraph (b) of that paragraph, shall continue in effect",.
  1. (c) after the entry for the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 there is inserted—
In the Health Act 1999
  1. (a) Part I and Schedule 4, except sections 18(1), (Arrangements with Ministers) and 30 to 35 and Schedule 2 (other than paragraph 2);
  2. (b) section 56, so far as it relates to any of the provisions which, by virtue of section 59(2), may be brought into force by the Assembly".
  3. (6) In Schedule 2, after the entry for the Audit Commission Act 1998, there is inserted—

"Health Act 1999

The functions of the Secretary of State under section 18(1) shall be exercisable only with the agreement of the Assembly.

The functions of the Secretary of State under paragraphs 4 to 7 of Schedule 2 shall be exercisable only after consultation with the Assembly".").

Baroness Hayman

My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 88. I shall also speak to Amendment No. 90.

It may be helpful if I begin by setting the context for Clause 59. We made it clear before the devolution referenda in 1997 that there would continue to be a UK-wide National Health Service. However, as your Lordships are aware, the devolved bodies are charged with funding and administering the NHS in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales according to the particular needs of those countries.

At present, Clause 59 of the Bill provides that the National Assembly for Wales will have vested in it all the new functions created by the free-standing provisions in the Bill appropriate to its role in managing the NHS in Wales. So, for example, the Assembly will be able to make use of the new operational flexibilities at the interface between the NHS and local government, and will be able to exercise the powers conferred on the Secretary of State in relation to health improvement programmes.

But the Bill also makes substantial amendment to existing NHS legislation. There are some parts of the Bill which insert new sections into the 1977 Act, or which amend existing functions that are to be transferred to the Assembly by the National Assembly for Wales (Transfer of Functions) Order 1999—which has already been made and which comes into force on 1st July. For example, Clause 11 amends Section 5 of the 1990 Act, which provides for the establishment of NHS trusts. This is a function which is to be transferred to the Assembly by the transfer of functions order.

I indicated in Committee, in response to a question from the noble Lord, Lord Crickhowell, that amendments to deal with this issue would be required at a later stage. We wish to ensure that the functions created by the amendments to existing NHS legislation are as effectively transferred to the Assembly as new functions. It is important that the transfer of functions order can be interpreted in such a way that references in the order to existing NHS legislation are to be construed, where appropriate, as references to the legislation as amended by the Bill.

At the time the Bill was introduced into this House the transfer of functions order had not been made and so appropriate provisions could not be drafted. We have therefore brought forward these amendments at a later stage. They are technical in nature, but they deal with the issue. The clause as amended will ensure the proper transfer to the Assembly of the appropriate provisions in the Bill, so that it can manage the NHS in Wales in line with the reforms that the Bill effects. I commend the amendment to the House.

On Question, Motion agreed to.