Ahead of today's debate in the House of Lord's on the Health and Care Bill, the RCP has issued a statement in response to amendments laid by Minister Lord Kamall on health inequalities and research.
Today Peers will debate and vote on amendments on health inequalities and research. Ahead of this session, president of the Royal College of Physicians Dr Andrew Goddard said:
“Throughout the passage of the Health and Care Bill, the Royal College of Physicians has been one of several organisations lobbying for stronger provisions on health inequalities and clinical research. We strongly welcome the amendments that government has brought forward in these two key areas which will be debated today.
“Government amendments 6 and 8 make clear that the first two elements of the triple aim include health inequalities and give NHS England (NHSE) a statutory duty to publish a statement on the powers available to relevant NHS bodies to collect, analyse and publish information on inequalities in access and outcomes. NHSE will also be required to ‘express its view on how those powers should be exercised’. Health inequalities have been exposed and exacerbated by the pandemic, so we are pleased that government has listened and taken action in the Bill. While we will continue to make the case for a cross-government strategy to reduce health inequalities, these amendments will ensure the NHS can play the fullest role possible in tackling inequity.
“We also welcome government amendment 4 to ensure NHSE must facilitate as well as promote research, and to require NHSE to include in its business plan and annual report how it has done or will do that. This amendment is a key step in cementing the UK’s place as a global leader in clinical research following the success of the COVID-19 vaccine. We again welcome the efforts in the sector and Parliament on pushing for this important change.