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Lords clear health commission Bill

2 July 2008

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The House of Lords has cleared new legislation which would see the combination of three healthcare regulators into a new Care Quality Commission.

The bodies that would be merged under the proposals are the Commissions for Healthcare Audit and Inspection (CHAI) and for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) and the Mental Health Act Commission.

The Health and Social Care Bill now returns to the Commons for confirmation of a series of government amendments made in the Lords before going for Royal Assent.

The new commission will be chaired by former Labour peer Baroness Young of Old Scone.

Health minister Ben Bradshaw, announcing the measure last year, said the changes would “enhance patient safety and improve public health”.

The new regulator will have powers to fine hospitals and to shut down wards, with a remit to “inspect, investigate and intervene” where hospitals were failing to meet hygiene standards. The Bill also seeks to strengthen professional regulation.

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Mental Health Act Commission