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Explanatory Memorandum to Health and Personal Social Services (Quality, Improvement and Regulation) (Northern Ireland) Order 2003


In summary the Order –

  • establishes a new, independent body, the Northern Ireland Health and Personal Social Services Regulation and Improvement Authority (the Regulation and Improvement Authority) with overall responsibility for monitoring and regulating the quality of health and care services delivered in Northern Ireland;

  • introduces a statutory duty of quality to be placed on Health and Social Services (HSS) Boards, HSS Trusts and some special agencies with regard to services which they provide;

  • gives the Regulation and Improvement Authority powers to review and inspect the quality of services provided by the HPSS including evaluating clinical and social care governance arrangements within HPSS bodies designed to underpin the statutory duty of quality placed on HSS Boards, HSS Trusts etc;

  • gives the new Authority responsibility for and powers to  regulate a wide range of care services including many services (establishments and agencies) which have previously been unregulated and many services delivered by the HPSS as well as services delivered by the independent sector;

  • introduces a common system of regulation based on minimum standards set out by the Department;

  • gives the Regulation and Improvement Authority powers to assess the quality of some unregulated services provided by HSS Trusts i.e. fostering, adoption and regulation of services provided to children under 12;

  • reconstitutes the main appeals tribunal used by this and other legislation; and

  • transfers responsibility for the inspection of care provided in schools which provide accommodation to children from HSS Boards to the new Authority.

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