I spoke during the Second Reading of the Government's Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill.
Joan Ryan (Enfield North) (Lab): The point is that we need good devolution and devolution that works. Let me take the Secretary of State back to the health issue because there are real concerns, expressed by the Royal College of Nursing and the NHS Confederation, about fragmenting services and the fact that devolution will not solve the significant financial crisis that our health service and social care service face. Therefore, real safeguards are needed to avoid unintended consequences and to protect the patient.
Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government: The right hon. Lady is absolutely right about that. Far from fragmenting health services, one of the most important things that we need to do, in the interests of all our constituents, is bring together, in closer co-operation, health and social services, because where they are not well aligned and well integrated, patients—our constituents—can fall through the cracks in the system. That is what is behind the Greater Manchester proposals.