Section 53 - Secretary of State’s annual report
537.This section inserts new section 247D into the NHS Act. This section would require the Secretary of State to publish an annual report relating to the performance of the comprehensive health service in England, which is to be laid before Parliament. This is the first time that there has been a specific requirement for an annual report of this kind, and it is intended to ensure that the performance of the comprehensive health service is subject to the appropriate Parliamentary scrutiny.
538.This report would cover both those aspects of the health service commissioned by the NHS Commissioning Board and CCGs, as well as those public health services for which the Secretary of State and local authorities are responsible. Subsection (2) requires the Secretary of State to include in the report his assessment of how effectively he has discharged his duties under sections 1A (Duty as to improvement in quality of services) and 1C (Duty as to reducing inequalities). In addition to these requirements, the report may, for example, include an assessment as to the extent to which the comprehensive health service had achieved progress in the outcomes set out in the Outcomes Framework.