The word on the street is that the Coalition Government is going back to first principles in its review of the proposals in the Health and Social Care Bill.
As each day passes, the ‘natural break’ begins to feel more like gardening leave for a piece of legislation that was supposed to be one of the Government’s flagship Bills. At the moment it looks possible that the Bill will be re-committed in the autumn. I assume that this will push back the timing on the ‘second session’ of parliament legislation as well – this second Bill is significant to health research because it will deal with changes to the way in which research is regulated.
So, from a flying start earlier in the year, it feels that the whole thing is becoming akin to a set of roadworks – the bollards are omnipresent as is the hole in the road and the queue of traffic but not much else is visible in terms of progress.
Still we should be pleased that the Government is at least prepared to radically re-think its plans. This week, you may have seen, 40 charities issued a statement urging there to be a stronger patient voice in the plans (quick plea to press officers – if you are going to issue something to the media, please make it available on your website the same day, I could not find it on any of the charity websites I checked).
And Cancer Research UK also held a very well attended briefing for MPs and others on the research aspects of the Bill.
This is going to run and run and run…