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Health and Social Care (Amendment) Act (Northern Ireland) 2014

Background and Policy Objectives

3.The Regional Business Services Organisation (BSO) was established under section 14 of the Health and Social Care (Reform) Act (Northern Ireland) 2009 (the Reform Act). Its main function is to provide or secure the provision of a range of support services to the health and social care bodies defined at section 1(5) of the Reform Act.

4.As currently framed, the Reform Act does not provide the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety with the power to direct the BSO to provide support services to the Department itself, nor to the following departmental arm’s length bodies:- the Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC), the Northern Ireland Practice and Education Council for Nursing and Midwifery (NIPEC), the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service Board (NIFRS).

5.In addition, BSO is able to exercise only those functions of the Department, Health and Social Care Board or Health and Social Care trusts that were exercisable by the Central Services Agency (CSA) immediately prior to its dissolution by the Reform Act. It is unable to exercise any new functions for the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety with respect to the administration of health and social care.

6.The Act amends the Reform Act to reflect the purpose for which the BSO was established (i.e. to provide support services to all departmental arm’s length bodies and to administer health and social care functions on behalf of the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety).

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

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