Information relating to births and deaths etc.
Section 284 - Special Notices of Births and Deaths
1490.Section 269 of the NHS Act previously provided that local registrars of births and deaths must provide particulars of registered births and deaths to PCTs. In relation to births, the section also required a child’s father (for a home birth) or person attending the mother (in other cases) to notify the PCT in whose area the birth takes place. The section also provided for the local registrar to have access to the notification of births provided to the local PCT.
1491.This section replaces references to PCTs in section 269 of the NHS Act with references to “relevant body or bodies” and provides for a new regulation-making power, which allows the Secretary of State to specify in regulations which bodies are to be notified of births and deaths. “Relevant bodies” are defined as the NHS Commissioning Board, CCGs and local authorities. Subsection (8) inserts, among others, a new subsection (12) into section 269 so as to ensure that information received by a local authority by virtue of this section may be used by it only for the purposes of functions exercisable by it in relation to the health service.
Section 285 – Provision of Information by Registrar General
1492.This section amends section 270 of the NHS Act. Previously, section 270 of the NHS Act allowed the Registrar General to provide information, such as births and deaths data to the Secretary of State in order to assist the Secretary of State in the performance of his functions in relation to the health service.
1493.It amends section 270 of the NHS Act so as to extend the list of persons who can receive information from the Registrar General of Births and Deaths.
Section 286 – Provision of Information by Registrar General: Wales
1494.This section amends section 201 of the National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006 to make provision for the Registrar General to provide information to a number of bodies in addition to Welsh Ministers. These bodies are listed in the insertion made by subsection (2)(b).
Section 287 – Provision of Statistical Information by Statistics Board
1495.This section amends section 42 of the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007, which contains provision to specify that the Statistics Board (ONS) may disclose information on births & deaths to a number of bodies.
1496.In a similar way to the amendment to section 270, section 287(2) replaces the reference to the Secretary of State with a range of persons and bodies connected to the health service. The section also gives the Secretary of State and Welsh Ministers a new direction making power to specify additional organisations which can receive information from the Statistics Board.
1497.The Act also clarifies the respective roles and responsibilities of the Registrar General and the Office for National Statistics as there is considerable overlap between the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and the NHS Act.
1498.Previously, there was a memorandum of understanding between the two organisations that defined the responsibilities for providing data to the Secretary of State. Broadly speaking, the Registrar General provides administrative data and the Office for National Statistics provides statistical data. These amendments to section 42 formalise the effect of the memorandum of understanding between the two organisations by limiting the powers of the Office for National Statistics, so that it is required to provide statistical information only.
1499.Subsection (2) sets out the information which may be disclosed by the Statistics Board as follows:
information consisting of statistics and is disclosed for the purpose of assisting a person performing health-related functions,
information disclosed for the purpose of assisting a person to produce or analyse statistics for the purpose of assisting a person performing health-related functions.
1500.Subsection (4) provides definitions of local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and Special Health Authorities.