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

Background and Policy Objectives

The chapter on “Working for Healthier People” in the Executive’s first Programme for Government, included a commitment to put in place a framework to raise the quality of services provided to the community and tackle issues of poor performance across the HPSS.  As a first step in fulfilling this commitment, DHSSPS issued a consultation paper entitled “Best Practice – Best Care” in April 2001.  The results of this consultation were published in June 2002.  The purpose of this Order is to put into effect those decisions, made following the conclusion of the consultation process, which require legislation.

The relevant documents are listed below –

“Programme for Government” published in March 2001.

“Best Practice – Best Care, A Consultation Paper”, published in April 2001.

“Best Practice – Best Care, Responses to the Consultation”, published in June 2002.

The “Best Practice – Best Care” documents are available on the DHSSPS website at

The proposals contained in “Best Practice – Best Care” focused on:


developing and disseminating clear service standards for the HPSS;


securing accountability at local level for the delivery of services; and


improving monitoring & regulation of the services.

The main focus of this Order is on the implementation of arrangements covering (b) and (c) which require legislation although this legislation is linked in to other arrangements, for the development of standards and guidelines (a), which do not require primary legislation.

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