7 Sep 2011

NHS reform bill passed by House of Commons

Despite threats of a LibDem rebellion, the government’s controversial bill to reform the NHS has cleared the House of Commons by a majority of 65.

The Health and Social Care Bill received its third reading by 316 votes to 251. Four LibDem MPs voted against it and 11 did not take part in the vote.

Speaking at Prime Minister’sQuestions, David Cameron said the reforms would create a “stronger NHS” that was better for patients.

Following a wave of criticism from health professionals and patients’ groups earlier this year the government put the legislation on pause to carry out what it termed a ‘listening exercise’. Following this the bill was sent back to committee in the Commons to be revised.

The new law – which has exposed fault lines in the coalition government – still has to be considered by the House of Lords where opposition from Lib Dem peers is expected to be strong.