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Health and Social Care Act 2008

Section 45: Standards set by Secretary of State

187.Section 45 gives the Secretary of State the power to prepare and publish statements of standards in relation to health care provided or commissioned by PCTs and to amend these statements from time to time.

188.PCTs will be required to have regard to these standards in discharging their duty under the new section 23A of the NHS Act 2006 (see section 139) to secure continuous improvement in the quality of health care provided or commissioned by them. Subsection (3) allows the Secretary of State to direct another person to develop standards and to submit them for approval. In “High Quality Care for All”, published on 30 June 2008, the Government indicated its intention to ask the National Institute for Clinical Excellence to develop these standards, with reference to the clinical priorities set out by a new National Quality Board, to be chaired by the NHS Chief Executive.

189.Subsection (4) provides that the Secretary of State must consult on the content of such statements of standards, or amended statements of standards which effect a substantial change in the standards, before they are published. The Commission has no role in monitoring or assessing compliance with these standards.

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