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The National Health Service (Functions of Strategic Health Authorities and Primary Care Trusts and Administration Arrangements) (England) Regulations 2002

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Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Regulations)

These Regulations replace the existing Regulations relating to the functions of Health Authorities and Primary Care Trusts in England in the light of the provisions of the National Health Service Reform and Health Care Professions Act 2002 (c. 17) which rename Health Authorities in England as Strategic Health Authorities and allow for direct delegation of the Secretary of State’s functions to Primary Care Trusts.

The Regulations provide for the functions of the Secretary of State relating to the health service to be exercisable in England by Strategic Health Authorities and Primary Care Trusts (regulation 3 and Schedules 1 and 2). Regulation 3 further provides that:

(a)Strategic Health Authorities must exercise their delegated functions for the benefit of their area; and

(b)Primary Care Trusts must, subject to the exceptions in regulation 3(7), exercise functions which consist of providing or securing the provision of services to patients mainly for the benefit of the patients of medical practices whose patients are drawn from the area of the trust.

Regulation 4 provides for the Secretary of State’s functions relating to pilot schemes for personal medical and dental services under Part 1 of the National Health Service (Primary Care) Act 1997 (“the 1997 Act”) to be exercisable by Strategic Health Authorities and Primary Care Trusts. The Regulations include restrictions on delegation to ensure that a Primary Care Trust does not exercise functions under the 1997 Act in relation to pilot schemes which it is itself providing. Regulations 4(4) to 4(6) provide that Strategic Health Authorities must direct Primary Care Trusts to exercise certain of their functions under the 1997 Act and in specified regulations relating to pilot schemes.

Regulation 5 bars Strategic Health Authorities from delegating to Primary Care Trusts certain of their functions specified in Schedule 3.

Regulations 6–8 set out limitations and restrictions on the exercise of the functions specified in Schedules 1 to 3 by both Strategic Health Authorities and Primary Care Trusts.

Regulation 9 enables Strategic Health Authorities to make arrangements for their functions to be exercised on their behalf by other Strategic Health Authorities, Health Authorities (in Wales) or Special Health Authorities or to be exercised jointly with those bodies or with Primary Care Trusts.

Regulation 10 enables Primary Care Trusts to make arrangements for their functions to be exercised on their behalf by other Primary Care Trusts or Special Health Authorities or to be exercised jointly with Strategic Health Authorities, Health Authorities, NHS trusts and other Primary Care Trusts.

Regulation 11 enables Strategic Health Authorities and Primary Care Trusts to enter into arrangements with Health Authorities for the exercise of Health Authority functions.

The NHS Plan referred to in regulation 3(4) can be obtained from The Stationery Office (mail, telephone and fax orders only), PO Box 29, Norwich, NR3 1GN. Telephone orders: 0870 600 5522. Fax orders: 0870 600 5533. It can also be accessed on the Department of Health’s web site: www.doh.gov.uk/nhsplan.

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