Care Bill gets second reading in Lords

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Peers completed second reading debate on the Care Bill on 21 May 2013.

Winding-up, Health Minister Earl Howe said that the debate had shown that "health and care matter to all of us".

Earlier, opposition spokesman Lord Hunt of Kings Heath said there was a "contrast between the bill's intentions and the realities of our health programme" which was under considerable "financial constraint".

Earl Howe said the government wanted to "strike the right balance in supporting people in paying for care and protecting the public purse".

The bill, announced in the Queen's Speech, introduces a single statute on care and support to simplify the law in this area.

It will cap the cost of social care that someone has to pay, as recommended by the Dilnot social care review, as well as giving carers the legal right to support from their council.

There will be Ofsted-style ratings for hospitals and care homes, and new powers of intervention for the chief inspector of hospitals to identify any problems with the quality of care.

Crossbench peer Baroness Masham of Ilton highlighted the case of Mid Staffs hospital and said no-one had taken responsibility for the failings.

She said that the duty of candour, included in the bill would "help" foster "openness and honesty" which was needed in the NHS.

The package of measures will apply to England only.

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