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A

BILL

[AS AMENDED IN PUBLIC BILL COMMITTEE]

TO

Make provision about the safety of health and social care services in England;
to make provision about the integration of information relating to users of
health and social care services in England; to make provision about the
sharing of information relating to an individual for the purposes of providing
that individual with health or social care services in England; to make
provision about the objectives of the regulatory bodies for health and social
care professions and the Professional Standards Authority for Health and
Social Care; to make provision about the disposal of cases concerning a
person’s fitness to practise a health or social care profession; and for
connected purposes.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Harm-free care

1 Harm-free care

(1) Section 20 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (health and adult social care
services: regulation of registered activities) is amended as follows.

(2) 5For subsection (1) and the opening words of subsection (2) substitute—

(1) The Secretary of State must by regulations impose requirements that
the Secretary of State considers necessary to secure that services
provided in the carrying on of regulated activities cause no avoidable
harm to the persons for whom the services are provided.

(2) 10The Secretary of State may by regulations impose any other
requirements in relation to regulated activities that the Secretary of
State thinks fit for the purposes of this Chapter, including in particular
provision with a view to—.

Health and Social Care (Safety and Quality) BillPage 2

(3) After subsection (5A) insert—

(5B) In subsection (1)—

(a) “cause” means cause or contribute to, whether directly or
indirectly; and

(b) 5harm is avoidable, in relation to a service, unless the person
providing the service cannot reasonably avoid it (whether
because it is an inherent part or risk of a regulated activity or for
another reason).

Continuity of information

2 10Consistent identifiers

In Part 9 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (health and adult social care
services: information), after section 251 insert—

CHAPTER 1A Continuity of Information

251A Consistent identifiers

(1) 15The Secretary of State must by regulations specify a description of
consistent identifier for the purposes of this section.

(2) “Consistent identifier” means any identifier (such as, for example, a
number or code used for identification purposes) that—

(a) relates to an individual, and

(b) 20forms part of a set of similar identifiers that is of general
application.

(3) Subsection (4) applies if—

(a) a relevant health or adult social care commissioner or provider
(“the relevant person”) processes information about an
25individual, and

(b) the individual is one to whom a consistent identifier of the
description specified under subsection (1) relates.

(4) If this subsection applies the relevant person must include the
consistent identifier in the information processed (but this is subject to
30subsections (5) to (8)).

(5) Subsection (4) applies only so far as the relevant person considers that
the inclusion is—

(a) likely to facilitate the provision to the individual of health
services or adult social care in England, and

(b) 35in the individual’s best interests.

(6) The relevant person need not comply with subsection (4) if the relevant
person reasonably considers that one or more of the following criteria
apply—

(a) the relevant person does not know the consistent identifier and
40is not reasonably able to learn it;

Health and Social Care (Safety and Quality) BillPage 3

(b) the individual objects, or would be likely to object, to the
inclusion of the consistent identifier in the information;

(c) the information concerns, or is connected with, the provision of
health services or adult social care by an anonymous access
5provider;

(d) for any other reason the relevant person is not reasonably able,
or should not be required, to comply with subsection (4).

(7) This section does not permit the relevant person to do anything which,
but for this section, would be inconsistent with—

(a) 10any provision made by or under the Data Protection Act 1998,
or

(b) a common law duty of care or confidence.

(8) This section does not require the relevant person to do anything which
the relevant person is required to do by or under provision included in
15a contract by virtue of any provision of the National Health Service Act
2006 (and, accordingly, any such requirement is to be treated as arising
under the contract, and not under this section).

3 Duty to share information

In Part 9 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (health and adult social care
20services: information), after section 251A (as inserted by section 2 of this Act)
insert—

251B Duty to share information

(1) This section applies in relation to information about an individual that
is held by a relevant health or adult social care commissioner or
25provider (“the relevant person”).

(2) The relevant person must ensure that the information is disclosed to—

(a) persons working for the relevant person, and

(b) any other relevant health or adult social care commissioner or
provider with whom the relevant person communicates about
30the individual,

but this is subject to subsections (3) to (6).

(3) Subsection (2) applies only so far as the relevant person considers that
the disclosure is—

(a) likely to facilitate the provision to the individual of health
35services or adult social care in England, and

(b) in the individual’s best interests.

(4) The relevant person need not comply with subsection (2) if the relevant
person reasonably considers that one or more of the following apply—

(a) the individual objects, or would be likely to object, to the
40disclosure of the information;

(b) the information concerns, or is connected with, the provision of
health services or adult social care by an anonymous access
provider;

(c) for any other reason the relevant person is not reasonably able,
45or should not be required, to comply with subsection (2).

Health and Social Care (Safety and Quality) BillPage 4

(5) This section does not permit the relevant person to do anything which,
but for this section, would be inconsistent with—

(a) any provision made by or under the Data Protection Act 1998,
or

(b) 5a common law duty of care or confidence.

(6) This section does not require the relevant person to do anything which
the relevant person is required to do under a common law duty of care
(and, accordingly, any such requirement is to be treated as arising
under that common law duty and not under this section).

4 10Interpretation

In Part 9 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (health and adult social care
services: information), after section 251B (as inserted by section 3 of this Act)
insert—

251C Continuity of information: interpretation

(1) 15This section applies for the purposes of sections 251A and 251B and this
section.

(2) “Relevant health or adult social care commissioner or provider”
means—

(a) any public body so far as it exercises functions in connection
20with the provision of health services, or of adult social care in
England, and

(b) any person (other than a public body) so far as the person
provides such services or care—

(i) pursuant to arrangements made with a public body
25exercising functions in connection with the provision of
the services or care, and

(ii) otherwise than as a member or officer of a body or an
employee of a person,

but this is subject to subsection (3).

(3) 30The Secretary of State may by regulations provide for a person to be
excluded from the definition of “relevant health or adult social care
commissioner or provider”, whether generally or in particular cases.

(4) Regulations under subsection (3) may, in particular, provide for a
person to be excluded in relation to the exercise of particular functions
35or the exercise of functions in relation to particular descriptions of
person, premises or institution.

(5) A reference to an inclusion or a disclosure being likely to facilitate the
provision to an individual of health services or adult social care in
England is to its being likely to facilitate that provision directly (rather
40than by means of a clinical trial, a study, an audit, or any other indirect
means).

(6) “Anonymous access provider” means a relevant health or adult social
care commissioner or provider (whether “the relevant person” under
section 251A(3)(a) or 251B(1) or another person) whose services or care
45are, or may be, received by individuals anonymously due to the nature
of the services or care.

Health and Social Care (Safety and Quality) BillPage 5

(7) Other terms have the same meaning as in section 250 (and “processes”
and “processed” are to be read in accordance with the meaning of
“processing” in that section).

Objectives

5 5Objectives in relation to the regulation of health and social care professions

(1) In section 25 of the National Health Service Reform and Health Care
Professions Act 2002 (Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social
Care), for subsection (2A) substitute—

(2A) The over-arching objective of the Authority in exercising its functions
10under subsection (2)(b) to (d) is the protection of the public.

(2B) The pursuit by the Authority of its over-arching objective involves the
pursuit of the following objectives—

(a) to protect, promote and maintain the health, safety and well-
being of the public;

(b) 15to promote and maintain public confidence in the professions
regulated by the regulatory bodies;

(c) to promote and maintain proper professional standards and
conduct for members of those professions;

(d) to promote and maintain proper standards in relation to the
20carrying on of retail pharmacy businesses at registered
pharmacies (as defined in article 3(1) of the Pharmacy Order
2010 (S.I. 2010/231S.I. 2010/231)); and

(e) to promote and maintain proper standards and conduct for
business registrants (as defined in section 36(1) of the Opticians
25Act 1989).

(2) The Schedule makes provision with respect to the objectives of regulatory
bodies in relation to which the Professional Standards Authority for Health
and Social Care exercises functions.

General

6 30Extent, commencement and short title

(1) Sections 1 to 4 extend to England and Wales only.

(2) Paragraph 7 of the Schedule extends to England, Wales and Scotland only.

(3) The rest of this Act extends to the whole of the United Kingdom.

(4) The provisions of this Act other than this section come into force on a day
35appointed in regulations made by statutory instrument by the Secretary of
State.

(5) Regulations under subsection (4) may—

(a) appoint different days for different areas or purposes;

(b) make transitory, transitional or consequential provision.

(6) 40This Act may be cited as the Health and Social Care (Safety and Quality) Act
2015.

Health and Social Care (Safety and Quality) BillPage 6

Section 5

Schedule Objectives of regulators of health and social care professions

General Dental Council

1 (1) The Dentists Act 1984 is amended as follows.

(2) 5In section 1 (constitution and general duties of the General Dental
Council)—

(a) after subsection (1) insert—

(1ZA) The over-arching objective of the Council in exercising their
functions under this Act is the protection of the public.

(1ZB) 10The pursuit by the Council of their over-arching objective
involves the pursuit of the following objectives—

(a) to protect, promote and maintain the health, safety
and well-being of the public;

(b) to promote and maintain public confidence in the
15professions regulated under this Act; and

(c) to promote and maintain proper professional
standards and conduct for members of those
professions.;

(b) omit subsection (2)(b) (and the word “and” immediately preceding
20it).

(3) In section 27A (powers of the Investigating Committee in respect of
registered dentists), after subsection (3) insert—

(3A) In deciding whether to issue a warning or advice under subsection
(2) or give a direction under subsection (3), the Investigating
25Committee (or any panel by which the function is exercisable as
mentioned in section 2(6A)) must have regard to the over-arching
objective.

(4) In section 33 (the dental profession: supplementary provision relating to
fitness to practise cases), after subsection (5) insert—

(5A) 30In exercising a function under section 27B, 27C or 28, a Practice
Committee (or any panel by which the function is exercisable as
mentioned in section 2(6A)) must have regard to the over-arching
objective.

(5) In section 36O (powers of the Investigating Committee in respect of
35registered dental care professionals), after subsection (3) insert—

(3A) In deciding whether to issue a warning or advice under subsection
(2) or give a direction under subsection (3), the Investigating
Committee (or any panel by which the function is exercisable as
mentioned in section 2(6A)) must have regard to the over-arching
40objective.

Health and Social Care (Safety and Quality) BillPage 7

(6) In section 36W (professions complementary to dentistry: supplementary
provision relating to fitness to practise cases), after subsection (5) insert—

(5A) In exercising a function under section 36P, 36Q or 36R, a Practice
Committee (or any panel by which the function is exercisable as
5mentioned in section 2(6A)) must have regard to the over-arching
objective.

(7) In section 53 (interpretation), after subsection (3) insert—

(3A) References in this Act to the over-arching objective are to the over-
arching objective of the Council under section 1(1ZA) (read with
10section 1(1ZB)).

General Optical Council

2 (1) The Opticians Act 1989 is amended as follows.

(2) In section 1 (constitution and functions of the General Optical Council), for
subsection (2A) substitute—

(2A) 15The over-arching objective of the Council in exercising their
functions is the protection of the public.

(2B) The pursuit by the Council of their over-arching objective involves
the pursuit of the following objectives—

(a) to protect, promote and maintain the health, safety and well-
20being of the public;

(b) to promote and maintain public confidence in the professions
regulated under this Act;

(c) to promote and maintain proper professional standards and
conduct for members of those professions; and

(d) 25to promote and maintain proper standards and conduct for
business registrants.

(3) In section 5A (Registration Appeals Committee), at the end insert—

(5) In exercising a function under section 13K, the Registration Appeals
Committee must have regard to the over-arching objective.

(4) 30In section 5C (Fitness to Practise Committee), at the end insert—

(5) In exercising a function under section 13F or 13H, the Fitness to
Practise Committee must have regard to the over-arching objective.

(5) In section 13D (allegations), after subsection (7) insert—

(7A) In deciding whether to give a warning under subsection (7), the
35Investigation Committee must have regard to the over-arching
objective.

(6) In section 36 (interpretation), at the end insert—

(3) References in this Act to the over-arching objective are to the over-
arching objective of the Council under section 1(2A) (read with
40section 1(2B)).

Health and Social Care (Safety and Quality) BillPage 8

General Osteopathic Council

3 (1) The Osteopaths Act 1993 is amended as follows.

(2) In section 1 (the General Osteopathic Council and its committees), after
subsection (3) insert—

(3A) 5The over-arching objective of the General Council in exercising its
functions is the protection of the public.

(3B) The pursuit by the General Council of its over-arching objective
involves the pursuit of the following objectives—

(a) to protect, promote and maintain the health, safety and well-
10being of the public;

(b) to promote and maintain public confidence in the profession
of osteopathy; and

(c) to promote and maintain proper professional standards and
conduct for members of that profession.

(3) 15In the Schedule, in Part 2 (statutory committees of the General Osteopathic
Council)—

(a) after paragraph 34A insert—

34B In exercising a function under section 8 or 22, the
Professional Conduct Committee (or any panel by which
20the function is exercisable as mentioned in paragraph 34A)
must have regard to the over-arching objective of the
General Council under section 1(3A) (read with section
1(3B)).;

(b) after paragraph 38A insert—

38B 25In exercising a function under section 23, the Health
Committee (or any panel by which the function is
exercisable as mentioned in paragraph 38A) must have
regard to the over-arching objective of the General Council
under section 1(3A) (read with section 1(3B)).

30General Chiropractic Council

4 (1) The Chiropractors Act 1994 is amended as follows.

(2) In section 1 (the General Chiropractic Council and its committees), after
subsection (4) insert—

(4A) The over-arching objective of the General Council in exercising its
35functions is the protection of the public.

(4B) The pursuit by the General Council of its over-arching objective
involves the pursuit of the following objectives—

(a) to protect, promote and maintain the health, safety and well-
being of the public;

(b) 40to promote and maintain public confidence in the profession
of chiropractic; and

(c) to promote and maintain proper professional standards and
conduct for members of that profession.

Health and Social Care (Safety and Quality) BillPage 9

(3) In Schedule 1, in Part 2 (statutory committees of the General Chiropractic
Council)—

(a) after paragraph 34A insert—

34B In exercising a function under section 8 or 22, the
5Professional Conduct Committee (or any panel by which
the function is exercisable as mentioned in paragraph 34A)
must have regard to the over-arching objective of the
General Council under section 1(4A) (read with section
1(4B)).;

(b) 10after paragraph 38A insert—

38B In exercising a function under section 23, the Health
Committee (or any panel by which the function is
exercisable as mentioned in paragraph 38A) must have
regard to the over-arching objective of the General Council
15under section 1(4A) (read with section 1(4B)).

Nursing and Midwifery Council

5 (1) The Nursing and Midwifery Order 2001 (S.I. 2002/253S.I. 2002/253) is amended as
follows.

(2) In article 3 (Nursing and Midwifery Council and its committees), for
20paragraph (4) substitute—

(4) The over-arching objective of the Council in exercising its functions
is the protection of the public.

(4A) The pursuit by the Council of its over-arching objective involves the
pursuit of the following objectives—

(a) 25to protect, promote and maintain the health, safety and well-
being of the public;

(b) to promote and maintain public confidence in the professions
regulated under this Order; and

(c) to promote and maintain proper professional standards and
30conduct for members of those professions.

(3) In article 26 (the Investigating Committee), after paragraph (6) insert—

(6A) In deciding whether to act under paragraph (6)(a) or (b)(i), the
Investigating Committee (or any panel by which a function under
that paragraph is exercisable as mentioned in paragraph 17(1A) of
35Schedule 1) must have regard to the over-arching objective of the
Council under article 3(4) (read with article 3(4A)).

(4) In Schedule 1, in Part 2 (statutory committees of Nursing and Midwifery
Council), after paragraph 18(10) insert—

(10A) In exercising a function under article 27, 29, 30 or 33, the Conduct
40and Competence Committee (or any panel by which the function
is exercisable as mentioned in paragraph 17(1A) of this Schedule)
must have regard to the over-arching objective.

(10B) In exercising a function under any of articles 28 to 30 and 33, the
Health Committee (or any panel by which the function is
45exercisable as mentioned in paragraph 17(1A) of this Schedule)
must have regard to the over-arching objective.

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