This briefing on the Health and Social Care Bill has been prepared for the Second Reading debate on the Bill in the House of Commons on 31 January 2011. The Bill is intended to give effect to the reforms requiring primary legislation that were proposed in the NHS White Paper Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS. This White Paper set out the Government’s aims to reduce central control of the NHS, to engage doctors in the commissioning of health services, and to give patients greater choice. Published in January 2011. Applies to health and social care in England.