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After section 47 of the Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003 (c. 43) (referred to in this Act as “the 2003 Act”) insert—
(1)The Secretary of State may issue a code of practice—
(a)applying to bodies within subsection (2), and
(b)relating to the prevention and control of health care associated infections in connection with health care provided by or for those bodies.
(2)The bodies within this subsection are—
(a)English NHS bodies other than Strategic Health Authorities; and
(3)The code may provide for provisions of the code to apply to—
(a)such description or descriptions of bodies within subsection (2) as may be specified in the code;
(b)such body or bodies within that subsection as may be so specified.
(4)The code may in particular—
(a)make such provision as the Secretary of State considers appropriate for the purpose of safeguarding individuals (whether receiving health care or otherwise) from the risk, or any increased risk, of being exposed to health care associated infections or of being made susceptible, or more susceptible, to them;
(b)contain provisions imposing on bodies to which the provisions apply requirements in relation to health care provided for such bodies by other persons as well as in relation to health care provided by such bodies.
(5)The code may—
(a)operate by reference to provisions of other documents specified in it (whether published by the Secretary of State or otherwise);
(b)provide for any reference in it to such a document to take effect as a reference to that document as revised from time to time;
(c)make different provision for different cases or circumstances.
(6)Nothing in subsections (3) to (5) is to be read as prejudicing the generality of subsection (1).
(7)The Secretary of State must keep the code under review and may from time to time—
(a)revise the whole or any part of the code, and
(b)issue a revised code.
(8)In this section “health care associated infection” means any infection to which an individual may be exposed or made susceptible (or more susceptible) in circumstances where—
(a)health care is being, or has been, provided to that or any other individual, and
(b)the risk of exposure to the infection, or of susceptibility (or increased susceptibility) to it, is directly or indirectly attributable to the provision of the health care.
(9)But subsection (8) does not include an infection to which the individual is deliberately exposed as part of any health care.
(10)Any reference in this Part to a code of practice issued under this section includes a revised code issued under it.
(1)Where the Secretary of State proposes to issue a code of practice under section 47A, he must—
(a)prepare a draft of the code, and
(b)consult such persons as he considers appropriate about the draft.
(2)Where the Secretary of State proposes to issue a revised code under section 47A which in his opinion would result in a substantial change in the code, he must—
(a)prepare a draft of the revised code, and
(b)consult such persons as he considers appropriate about the change.
(3)Where, following consultation under subsection (1) or (2), the Secretary of State issues the code or revised code (whether in the form of the draft or with such modifications as he thinks fit), it comes into force at the time when it is issued by the Secretary of State.
(a)any document by reference to whose provisions the code operates as mentioned in section 47A(5)(a) and (b) is a document published by the Secretary of State in connection with his functions relating to health,
(b)the Secretary of State proposes to revise the document, and
(c)in the opinion of the Secretary of State, the revision would result in a substantial change in the code,
the Secretary of State must, before revising the document, consult such persons as he considers appropriate about the change.
(a)any document by reference to whose provisions the code operates as mentioned in section 47A(5)(a) and (b) is not one to which subsection (4)(a) above applies,
(b)the document is revised, and
(c)in the opinion of the Secretary of State, the revision results in a substantial change in the code,
the Secretary of State must consult such persons as he considers appropriate about whether the code should be revised in connection with the change.
(6)Consultation undertaken by the Secretary of State before the commencement of this section is as effective for the purposes of this section as consultation undertaken after that time.
(1)Where any provisions of a code of practice issued under section 47A apply to an NHS body, the body must observe those provisions in discharging its duty under section 45.
(2)A failure to observe any provision of a code of practice issued under section 47A does not of itself make a person liable to any criminal or civil proceedings.
(3)A code of practice issued under section 47A is admissible in evidence in any criminal or civil proceedings.”
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