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Health Act 2009

Consultation and report

219.New section 65R requires that, within 45 working days of appointment, the TSA must produce and publish a draft report, recommending the action that the Secretary of State should take in relation to the performance of the relevant functions. The Secretary of State must lay this report before Parliament (subsection (3)). The TSA must set out, in a published statement, how he or she plans to consult on the draft report (new section 65S(1)). The consultation period will last for 30 working days (new section 65S(2)).

220.New section 65T specifies the duties which apply during the consultation period. In particular, it specifies that the TSA must publish a notice stating that the TSA is seeking responses to the draft report and describing how people can give their response (subsection (2)). It provides that the TSA must hold meetings with the public and staff of the PCT and staff representatives (subsections (4) and (5)). Staff for these purposes only includes staff who are employed in connection with the relevant functions (i.e. the provider functions which are being exercised by the TSA) and it includes staff employed by contractors and volunteers working for the PCT (subsection (10)). The TSA is required to seek written responses from and meet any Strategic Health Authority in whose area any part of the PCT’s area falls, and any person to which the trust provides goods and services which the Secretary of State directs the TSA to consult (in practice likely to be persons who commission goods and services from the trust) (subsections (7)(a) and (b) and (8)). The TSA is also required to request a written response from such persons within section 65H(8) as the Secretary of State may direct (subsection (7)(c)). The Secretary of State may also direct the TSA to seek written responses from or hold meetings with additional persons specified in the directions (subsection (9)).

221.New section 65U provides that within 15 working days of the end of the consultation period, the TSA must give the Secretary of State a report containing his or her recommendations. The TSA must attach to the report a summary of all oral and written responses to the consultation received during the consultation process. The Secretary of State must publish the TSA’s report and lay it before Parliament (subsection (3)).

222.New section 65V enables the Secretary of State to make an order extending any of the time periods for preparing the draft report, conducting the consultation or providing the final report. The power will be exercisable only where it would not be reasonable to expect the administrator to complete the relevant activity in the specified period and the Government envisages that the power will only be used in exceptional circumstances; for example, where the TSA was seriously ill or if the organisation had to deal with a significant unplanned event, for example a SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak. Where the time is extended, the TSA must publish a notice stating the date when the revised period expires (subsections (2) and (3)).

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