The government has agreed to delete key clauses in the legislation enacting its plans to reform the NHS in England, after bowing to demands from the Liberal Democrats.
Health Minister Earl Howe told peers the government was happy to remove passages from the Health and Social Care Bill that would have forced the Competition Commission to conduct reviews of the development of competition in the health service.
The change had been demanded by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in a recent letter to his Liberal Democrat colleagues.
Agreeing to the amendment during the bill's fifth day of
debate on 6 March 2012, Lord Howe told peers that to prescribe reviews every seven years may place "too great an emphasis on competition in the NHS".
Lord Clement-Jones, one of the Lib Dems who tabled the amendment, welcomed the move.
He said the government had made "many concessions in collaboration" with his party.
in the debate the government easily saw off several attempts to amend the controversial legislation.
The bill contains the government's plans to reform the health service in England.
It is designed to give health professionals more control over spending the budget, and aims to encourage greater competition with the private sector.
The government insists reform is necessary to safeguard the future of the NHS, but Labour claims the plans are ''high-cost and high-risk''.