Clause 119 Voted Through By MPs

New Powers Allow Administrators To Make Changes To Local Healthcare


MPs have voted in favour of the addition of Clause 119 to the Care Bill, a move which will allow special administrators managing struggling NHS trusts to make changes to local services.

Passed by a majority of 58, the new rules mean administrators can make any changes they deem necessary, with some critics suggesting this could potentially lead to the closure of high-performing  hospitals in the local area.

Administrators will need to launch a consultation with the general public, commissioners and staff at such hospitals before agreeing to such changes.

A Department of Health spokesperson said the clause should be used as “a last resort”, adding to the BBC that the changes “will ensure patients get safe care”.

Labour warned that the changes could led to a “top-down, finance-led” approach.

Expert Opinion
These changes have undoubtedly led to much discussion and debate across the healthcare sector, particularly regarding what they will mean for the future of the NHS.

"We welcome the requirement, included in an amendment to the clause, that NHS staff who will be affected by any proposal to make changes under this clause must be consulted. What is incredibly important though is that any steps taken to use these powers must always be carefully considered, with the interests and safety of patients always being put first.

"We have acted successfully in numerous legal challenges related to proposed changes to healthcare and other public services, including successfully challenging the proposed closure of Berwick Maternity Unit. As a result of this, we have seen first-hand the impact and fears that such plans can have on local communities – it is vital that those kinds of decisions are always taken with absolute care."
Anne-Marie Irwin, Associate