Search Legislation

Health and Social Care (Safety and Quality) Act 2015

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Reducing harm in care

1Reducing harm in care

(1)Section 20 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (health and adult social care services: regulation of registered activities) is amended as follows.

(2)For subsection (1) and the opening words of subsection (2) substitute—

(1)The Secretary of State must by regulations impose requirements that the Secretary of State considers necessary to secure that services provided in the carrying on of regulated activities cause no avoidable harm to the persons for whom the services are provided.

(2)The Secretary of State may by regulations impose any other requirements in relation to regulated activities that the Secretary of State thinks fit for the purposes of this Chapter, including in particular provision with a view to—.

(3)After subsection (5A) insert—

(5B)In subsection (1)—

(a)“cause” means cause or contribute to, whether directly or indirectly; and

(b)harm is avoidable, in relation to a service, unless the person providing the service cannot reasonably avoid it (whether because it is an inherent part or risk of a regulated activity or for another reason).

Continuity of information

2Consistent identifiers

In Part 9 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (health and adult social care services: information), after section 251 insert—

CHAPTER 1AContinuity of Information

251AConsistent identifiers

(1)The Secretary of State must by regulations specify a description of consistent identifier for the purposes of this section.

(2)“Consistent identifier” means any identifier (such as, for example, a number or code used for identification purposes) that—

(a)relates to an individual, and

(b)forms part of a set of similar identifiers that is of general application.

(3)Subsection (4) applies if—

(a)a relevant health or adult social care commissioner or provider (“the relevant person”) processes information about an individual, and

(b)the individual is one to whom a consistent identifier of the description specified under subsection (1) relates.

(4)If this subsection applies the relevant person must include the consistent identifier in the information processed (but this is subject to subsections (5) to (8)).

(5)Subsection (4) applies only so far as the relevant person considers that the inclusion is—

(a)likely to facilitate the provision to the individual of health services or adult social care in England, and

(b)in the individual’s best interests.

(6)The relevant person need not comply with subsection (4) if the relevant person reasonably considers that one or more of the following criteria apply—

(a)the relevant person does not know the consistent identifier and is not reasonably able to learn it;

(b)the individual objects, or would be likely to object, to the inclusion of the consistent identifier in the information;

(c)the information concerns, or is connected with, the provision of health services or adult social care by an anonymous access provider;

(d)for any other reason the relevant person is not reasonably able, or should not be required, to comply with subsection (4).

(7)This section does not permit the relevant person to do anything which, but for this section, would be inconsistent with—

(a)any provision made by or under the Data Protection Act 1998, or

(b)a common law duty of care or confidence.

(8)This section does not require the relevant person to do anything which the relevant person is required to do by or under provision included in a contract by virtue of any provision of the National Health Service Act 2006 (and, accordingly, any such requirement is to be treated as arising under the contract, and not under this section).

3Duty to share information

In Part 9 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (health and adult social care services: information), after section 251A (as inserted by section 2 of this Act) insert—

251BDuty to share information

(1)This section applies in relation to information about an individual that is held by a relevant health or adult social care commissioner or provider (“the relevant person”).

(2)The relevant person must ensure that the information is disclosed to—

(a)persons working for the relevant person, and

(b)any other relevant health or adult social care commissioner or provider with whom the relevant person communicates about the individual,

but this is subject to subsections (3) to (6).

(3)Subsection (2) applies only so far as the relevant person considers that the disclosure is—

(a)likely to facilitate the provision to the individual of health services or adult social care in England, and

(b)in the individual’s best interests.

(4)The relevant person need not comply with subsection (2) if the relevant person reasonably considers that one or more of the following apply—

(a)the individual objects, or would be likely to object, to the disclosure of the information;

(b)the information concerns, or is connected with, the provision of health services or adult social care by an anonymous access provider;

(c)for any other reason the relevant person is not reasonably able, or should not be required, to comply with subsection (2).

(5)This section does not permit the relevant person to do anything which, but for this section, would be inconsistent with—

(a)any provision made by or under the Data Protection Act 1998, or

(b)a common law duty of care or confidence.

(6)This section does not require the relevant person to do anything which the relevant person is required to do under a common law duty of care (and, accordingly, any such requirement is to be treated as arising under that common law duty and not under this section).

4Interpretation

In Part 9 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (health and adult social care services: information), after section 251B (as inserted by section 3 of this Act) insert—

251CContinuity of information: interpretation

(1)This section applies for the purposes of sections 251A and 251B and this section.

(2)“Relevant health or adult social care commissioner or provider” means—

(a)any public body so far as it exercises functions in connection with the provision of health services, or of adult social care in England, and

(b)any person (other than a public body) so far as the person provides such services or care—

(i)pursuant to arrangements made with a public body exercising functions in connection with the provision of the services or care, and

(ii)otherwise than as a member or officer of a body or an employee of a person,

but this is subject to subsection (3).

(3)The Secretary of State may by regulations provide for a person to be excluded from the definition of “relevant health or adult social care commissioner or provider”, whether generally or in particular cases.

(4)Regulations under subsection (3) may, in particular, provide for a person to be excluded in relation to the exercise of particular functions or the exercise of functions in relation to particular descriptions of person, premises or institution.

(5)A reference to an inclusion or a disclosure being likely to facilitate the provision to an individual of health services or adult social care in England is to its being likely to facilitate that provision directly (rather than by means of a clinical trial, a study, an audit, or any other indirect means).

(6)“Anonymous access provider” means a relevant health or adult social care commissioner or provider (whether “the relevant person” under section 251A(3)(a) or 251B(1) or another person) whose services or care are, or may be, received by individuals anonymously due to the nature of the services or care.

(7)Other terms have the same meaning as in section 250 (and “processes” and “processed” are to be read in accordance with the meaning of “processing” in that section).

Objectives

5Objectives in relation to the regulation of health and social care professions

(1)In section 25 of the National Health Service Reform and Health Care Professions Act 2002 (Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care), for subsection (2A) substitute—

(2A)The over-arching objective of the Authority in exercising its functions under subsection (2)(b) to (d) is the protection of the public.

(2B)The pursuit by the Authority of its over-arching objective involves the pursuit of the following objectives—

(a)to protect, promote and maintain the health, safety and well-being of the public;

(b)to promote and maintain public confidence in the professions regulated by the regulatory bodies;

(c)to promote and maintain proper professional standards and conduct for members of those professions;

(d)to promote and maintain proper standards in relation to the carrying on of retail pharmacy businesses at registered pharmacies (as defined in article 3(1) of the Pharmacy Order 2010 (S.I. 2010/231)); and

(e)to promote and maintain proper standards and conduct for business registrants (as defined in section 36(1) of the Opticians Act 1989).

(2)The Schedule makes provision with respect to the objectives of regulatory bodies in relation to which the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care exercises functions.

General

6Extent, commencement and short title

(1)Sections 1 to 4 extend to England and Wales only.

(2)Paragraph 7 of the Schedule extends to England, Wales and Scotland only.

(3)The rest of this Act extends to the whole of the United Kingdom.

(4)The provisions of this Act other than this section come into force on a day appointed in regulations made by statutory instrument by the Secretary of State.

(5)Regulations under subsection (4) may—

(a)appoint different days for different areas or purposes;

(b)make transitory, transitional or consequential provision.

(6)This Act may be cited as the Health and Social Care (Safety and Quality) Act 2015.

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

Close

Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As Enacted or Made):The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.

Close

See additional information alongside the content

Show Explanatory Notes for Sections: Displays relevant parts of the explanatory notes interweaved within the legislation content.

Close

Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once

Close

Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources
Close

Impact Assessments

Impact Assessments generally accompany all UK Government interventions of a regulatory nature that affect the private sector, civil society organisations and public services. They apply regardless of whether the regulation originates from a domestic or international source and can accompany primary (Acts etc) and secondary legislation (SIs). An Impact Assessment allows those with an interest in the policy area to understand:

  • Why the government is proposing to intervene;
  • The main options the government is considering, and which one is preferred;
  • How and to what extent new policies may impact on them; and,
  • The estimated costs and benefits of proposed measures.
Close

More Resources

Use this menu to access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • correction slips

Click 'View More' or select 'More Resources' tab for additional information including:

  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • links to related legislation and further information resources