The Health Service Procurement (Wales) Bill: Stage 3 debate

Published 06/10/2023   |   Reading Time minutes

The Health Service Procurement (Wales) Bill was laid before the Senedd on 13 February 2023. The Member in Charge of the Bill is the Minister for Health and Social Services, Eluned Morgan MS.

This article pulls together key Senedd Research publications to support scrutiny of the Bill and sets out how the Bill has made its way through the Senedd’s legislative process.

You can trace the Bill’s progress on the Senedd website. This includes the Bill itself and the original Explanatory Memorandum. An updated Explanatory Memorandum was laid on 7 July 2023.

This legislation is a framework Bill and provides Welsh Ministers with powers to make regulations in two areas:

  • A ‘disapplication power’ which will enable the Welsh Ministers to disapply provisions of the UK Procurement Bill, currently progressing through Parliament, once enacted. That Bill would otherwise apply to the procurement of health services.
  • A ‘creation power’ which will enable Welsh Ministers to introduce a new, separate procurement regime for these health services in Wales.

Our Bill Summary briefing provides background to the Bill, summarises its provisions and outlines the Senedd’s work up to Stage 1 of the legislative process, noting the views of the Senedd Committees and external stakeholders.

Stage 2 of the Bill’s scrutiny (the committee amending stage) concluded in the Health and Social Care Committee on 7 June 2023. The Senedd has published a summary of what happened at Stage 2, describing the amendments and their fate.

The key amendments agreed were under Section 3 Procurement of services etc. as part of the NHS in Wales. Two additional paragraphs were inserted in relation to consultation on any procurement regulations developed as a result of the legislation – one requiring the Welsh Ministers to consult and a second requiring certain material to be included in explanatory material accompanying the regulations.

Following the completion of Stage 2 proceedings, Stage 3 commenced on 8 June 2023.

Stage 3 was initially scheduled for 11 July 2023 in Plenary to consider amendments to the Bill (as amended at Stage 2). On 30 June, the Minister for Health and Social Services wrote to the Health and Social Care Committee, Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee, and Finance Committee to advise that she intended to postpone Stage 3 proceedings until autumn 2023 and to provide further information about her response to Stage 1 Committee recommendations.

Stage 3 proceedings on the Bill will take place in Plenary on Tuesday 10 October 2023 and a link to the Notice of Amendments is available under the Stage 3 section of the website outlining progress of the Bill.

Article by Paul Worthington, Senedd Research, Welsh Parliament