Health and social care bill faces final challenge

The government will make a last attempt to force the health and
social care bill through parliament complete with the controversial
provision to scrap community health councils, on Thursday

But the indications from Labour’s business managers are that if,
as expected, the House of Lords rejects the CHC proposal again,
they will drop it to save the rest of the legislation before
parliament dissolves for the general election.

Since Tony Blair announced polling day for June 7, the
government has been frantically negotiating with the opposition
parties to save as much business as possible.

It has already dropped seven bills including the adoption and
children bill – which has yet to clear the Commons and could not
conceivably get through the Lords by Friday. A similar bill will be
reintroduced in the next Parliament whichever party wins the

Another casualty is the homes bill which would place a duty on
local authorities to provide on-going support to care leavers.

The controversial plans for CHCs will be re-inserted into the
health and social care bill in the Commons on Thursday afternoon,
and sent back to the Lords for debate on Thursday evening.

However, one senior government source indicated that if the CHC
provision was once again rejected the government would cave in
saying: “We want the rest of this bill through before the election.
We won’t lose it for one provision.”



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