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Health and Personal Social Services Act (Northern Ireland) 2002

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10.There was no affordable option available in relation to the recommendation of the Royal Commission, other than to correct the unsatisfactory situation where nursing home residents must contribute towards the cost of their nursing care, subject to a means assessment. Doing nothing was not seen as a defensible option.

11.Three options were considered for the status of the new local nursing body:

  • as a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB);

  • as an Independent Statutory Body; or

  • as a Unit within DHSSPS.

12.It was considered that the establishment of a new NDPB was the best option, and this option received support from those consulted. Two other options fell because:

Independent Statutory Body (a Special Agency): A Special Agency can only be established if it is to exercise functions with respect to the administration of the health and personal social services, and it is to exercise those functions on behalf of DHSSPS.  However, NIPEC must have the capacity to work on behalf of the NMC and other bodies; and

Unit within DHSSPS: There was strong feeling from the consultation process that, to be seen as independent, the body should operate at arms length from the Department.

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Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly 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 accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.


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