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Health and Social Care Act 2012

Part 3 – Regulation of health and adult social care services

13.Part 3 sets out provisions for regulation of health and adult care services in England and defines the role of the sector regulator, which shall be known as Monitor.

14.Chapter 1 makes provision for the Independent Regulator of NHS foundation trusts to continue in existence and to be known instead as “Monitor”. It outlines Monitor’s general duties and introduces Schedule 8, which addresses Monitor’s constitution and public accountabilities. Monitor’s general duties apply to the exercise of all its functions, including the functions it will continue to exercise under the NHS Act. Monitor’s overriding duty will be to protect and promote the interests of patients by promoting economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the provision of healthcare, whilst maintaining or improving quality.

15.Chapter 2 establishes concurrent powers for Monitor, alongside the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), under specific sections of the Competition Act 1998 and Enterprise Act 2002, as they will apply in the health care sector in England. It also provides delegated powers for the Secretary of State to make regulations imposing requirements on commissioners of NHS services, regarding good practice in procurement, protecting patients’ rights to patient choice, imposing prohibitions on anti-competitive conduct and managing potential conflicts of interest, which Monitor will enforce. It is intended that these regulations will enshrine a full range of options for commissioners, including the ability to secure services without competition, where this would be in patients’ interests.

16.Chapter 3 provides Monitor with the necessary powers to run a system of licensing of providers of NHS services as a vehicle for discharging its regulatory functions. These include powers to set and enforce requirements to secure continued provision of NHS services.

17.Chapter 4 makes provision for Monitor, in conjunction with the NHS Commissioning Board, to regulate prices for NHS services through a national tariff. It also makes provision for references to the Competition Commission to adjudicate over disputed changes to methodologies for determining prices under the national tariff.

18.Chapter 5 enables Monitor to secure continuity of NHS services provided by companies, through a process of health special administration. It makes provision for the Secretary of State to make regulations to establish a health special administration regime, including powers to apply the Insolvency Act 1986 with modifications.

19.Chapter 6 provides for a duty on Monitor to establish funding mechanisms to enable trust special administrators appointed to foundation trusts and health special administrators appointed to companies to secure continued access to NHS services.

20.Chapter 7 deals with miscellaneous matters concerning Part 3 including the service of documents, electronic communications, interpretation and consequential amendments.

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