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NHS: Disclosure of Information

Volume 487: debated on Monday 26 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what powers he has in existing legislation to make directions requiring NHS bodies to publish information relating to the quality of NHS services which they provide; and if he will make a statement. (250892)

Section 8 of the National Health Service Act 2006 provides that the Secretary of State may give directions to certain NHS bodies about the exercise of any of their functions. The Secretary of State may use the powers in section 8 to require the publication of information by these bodies. This power covers NHS bodies in public ownership, but does not allow the Secretary of State to make directions for other bodies providing NHS healthcare services.

The quality accounts provisions in the Health Bill published on 16 January seek to establish a requirement for anyone providing NHS healthcare services to publish information about the quality of those services, regardless of the status of the provider, as set out in the report of Government’s review of the future of the NHS, “High Quality Care for All”.