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Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Twelfth Report


Memorandum by the Department of Health


  1.  By a letter from its Clerk dated 24th February 1999 the Committee has requested the Department to submit a Memorandum on the following points—

    (1)  By new article 3(2)(a) of the 1994 Order substituted by article 2, it is provided that one of the functions of the trust is to "provide community health services" from the listed premises. Explain why this function is not described as one pursuant to section 5(1)(b) of the 1990 Act.

    (2)  New article 3(2)(c) provides, in the bracketed passage at the end, for a function of providing and managing, pursuant to section 5(1)(b) of the 1990 Act, community health services from 50 Victoria Road, Burgess Hill, from 1 March 1999. Explain (a) whether these services are to be in addition to, or will replace, those at Burgess Hill Health Clinic and Stead Resource Centre; and (b) why the provision relating to 50 Victoria Road does not appear separately and with a separate commencement date of 1 March 1999.

  2.  In answer to point (1), functions relating to the provision of health services (in this instance, community health services) may lawfully be bestowed upon an NHS trust either under section 5(1)(a) or (b) (or both) - see section 5(6) of the Act, which provides that the functions specified in an Order under subsection (1) are to include functions in relation to the provision of services. The difference is that under section 5(1)(a), the trust is authorised to provided the services in question from premises it owns and manages, and which were previously owned and managed by a Health Authority, whereas under section 5(1)(b) there are no such restrictions. The decision as between the two takes into account existing circumstances, planned development and local concerns. In this instance, the premises referred to in new article 3(2)(a) are to be owned and managed by the trust, and community health services provided from there.

  3.  In answer to point (2), the wording of the bracketed passage at the end of article 3(2)(c) was added immediately prior to the making of the Order, at the request of the NHS trust concerned. The Department regrets this error and undertakes to issue a correcting Instrument, free of charge.

2nd March 1999

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