General and supplementary
Section 274 - Powers of the Secretary of State or Board to give directions
1459.This section enables the Secretary of State or the NHS Commissioning Board, through regulations, to give certain directions. These directions could require:
a health or social care body to exercise an information function of the Information Centre (for example the Centre’s function of requiring other health or social care bodies to provide information);
the Centre or another health or social care body to exercise an information function of the Secretary of State or the Board;
the Centre to exercise an information function of a health or social care body;
the Centre to carry out systems delivery functions of the Secretary of State or the Board that are exercisable in relation to the development or operation of information or communications systems.
1460.This section could be used, for example, to provide in regulations for the Secretary of State or the Board to direct that another body should collect information that the Centre could be mandated to collect (a direction under a) above). An example could be where there is no intention to publish or disseminate the information that is to be collected or analysed more widely, other than for a single, primary use. It might be an inefficient use of the Centre’s resources for it to collect or analyse information solely for the purpose of passing the information to another body. Similarly, it may be more efficient for the Centre to collect certain information instead of this being done as an ancillary function by another health or social care body (a direction under (c) above).
1461.Subsection (2) ensures that the Secretary of State or the Board is able to direct the Centre about how it is to perform functions it is directed to undertake under subsection (1).
1462.Subsections (6) and (7) make provision for the Centre to be appropriately resourced for exercising Secretary of State or Board functions in relation to information or communications systems. Where a direction giving power relating to a systems delivery function is conferred on the Secretary of State, the regulations must ensure that a direction could include provision for payments to be made to the Centre. Where such a power is conferred on the Board, the regulations must ensure that a direction will enable the Centre to charge the Board a reasonable fee for carrying out the function which is the subject of the direction.
Section 275 - Interpretation of this Chapter
1463.This section defines terms used in Chapter 2.
Section 276 - Dissolution of predecessor body
1464.This section provides for the abolition of the Special Health Authority known as the Health and Social Care Information Centre.
Section 277 - Consequential provision
1465.This section gives effect to Schedule 19 (part 9: consequential amendments) which contains consequential amendments to a range of statutory provisions to ensure that the Information Centre is referenced appropriately. It includes, for example, changes to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Access to Health Records Act 1990 so that relevant provisions in the Acts would continue to apply to the re-established Centre and information it holds. It also includes a change to the Health Act 2009, so that the Centre would have a duty to have regard to the NHS Constitution.