Lord Winston: 'Case for fertilisation body is dubious'

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"The case for having a Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA)...is quite dubious", fertility expert and Labour peer Lord Winston told the House on 12 June 2013.

He argued: "There is no longer public anxiety about this treatment as there was in 1990 when the Act (setting up the HFEA) was introduced, it is now a regular treatment."

Peers were debating whether the HFEA should be merged with the Human Tissue Authority (HTA), as an amendment to the Care Bill at committee stage.

Health minister Earl Howe rejected abolishing the existing bodies, saying the government had considered the issue "in some depth" and the "strong message" received from stakeholders was not to abolish or merge the bodies.

Labour's Baroness Thornton said the opposition also supported the retention of the HFEA and HTA.

The bill 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.

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