Clause 119 Voted Through By MPs New Powers Allow Administrators To Make Changes To Local Healthcare 18.03.2014 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 Key contact Anne-Marie Irwin Associate +44 (0)370 1500 100 Email Anne-Marie Tags Public Law Social And Healthcare Anne-Marie Irwin London Related articles 20.09.2017Mental Health Trust Pays Damages To Family Of Vulnerable Man Who Died In High Rise Fire 20.09.2017Landmark Legal Ruling Will Allow Doctors to Withdraw Treatment To Those Suffering Debilitating Diseases if Families Agree 20.09.2017Inquest Finds Alzheimer Suffer Died Due To Ingesting Chlorine Tablets 19.09.2017Two Women Instruct Lawyers After Being Abused By Dr Philip Schuppler 19.09.2017Specialist Public Health Lawyers Instructed After Dry Ice Cocktail Drank at The Alchemist ‘Leaves Man With Severe Stomach Burns'