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Community Care (Delayed Discharges etc.) Act 2003

Section 3: Notices under section 2: supplementary

16.Section 3 sets out the administrative procedures for issuing and withdrawing a section 2 notice, and deals with issues such as what the notice must contain. Subsections (1) to (3) provide for how long a section 2 notice remains in force. Subsection (3) allows for regulations to provide when the notice ceases to have effect (if the notice has not previously been withdrawn by the responsible NHS body under subsection (2)). The intention is that the notice ceases to have effect if the patient dies.

17.Subsection (4) then provides that if a notice ceases to have effect, the social services authority is no longer liable to make delayed discharge payments, but that any existing liability to pay remains. The NHS body may issue a fresh section 2 notice to the social services authority if the patient’s circumstances make this necessary. Re-notification of this kind restarts the process, meaning that the social services authority must reassess the patient and, after consulting the NHS body, decide what services to provide.

18.Subsection (5) allows for regulations to set out the contents of the notice and the notification process. The NHS body may be required to withdraw the section 2 notice in prescribed circumstances. This is to make sure that the social services authority do not continue needlessly to carry out duties arising after a section 2 notice has been issued, such as arranging a care package, when the NHS is aware that the patient has made arrangements of his own, or may now need services of a very different nature than had originally been expected due to a change in circumstances. This could be because an admission which is elective (rather than emergency) has been postponed due to a significant deterioration in the patient’s condition. Subsection (5)(c) allows regulations to be made to define the day on which it will be considered that the NHS body has issued a notice to the social services authority.

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