Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Eleventh Report


Memorandum by the Department of Health

National Health Service (General Dental Services) Amendment
Regulations 2001 (S.I. 2001/289)

1. The Committee has requested a memorandum on the following point in relation to the above regulations—

    Explain why regulations 4 and 7 do not include provisions substituting "Health Authority" for "FHSA" in, respectively regulation 4 of, and Schedule 1 to, the principal Regulations (contrast regulation 5(a)). Does the Department not consider that it would have been more appropriate to have included a provision making this substitution throughout the Regulations, given the number of apparently extant references in them to a "FHSA".

2. The Department's explanation for the approach taken in this respect is as follows. When Family Health Services Authorities (FHSAs) were abolished and their role taken over by Health Authorities with effect from 1 April 1996, article 3(2)(a) of the Health Authorities Act 1995 (Amendment of Transitional Provisions and Modification of References) Order 1996 (S.I. 1996/971) provided that in any instrument (including any instrument made under any enactment) a reference to a Family Health Services Authority was to be construed as a reference to a Health Authority unless the context otherwise required.

3. The amendment made to regulation 5 of the principal Regulations by regulation 5(a) of the 2001 Regulations was thus not strictly necessary. However, if the term "FHSA" were to have remained in the unamended text of regulation 5, there would have been a textual discrepancy within that regulation, where the new provision being inserted referred to "Health Authority".

4. The same point did not arise in respect of the amendment to be made to regulation 4 of the principal Regulations by regulation 4 of the 2001 Regulations. Nor did it arise in respect of the amendments to be made to paragraphs 16 and 20 of Schedule 1 or in respect of the insertion of a new paragraph into that Schedule, by regulation 7 of the 2001 Regulations. Comparable provisions to that in regulation 5(a) were therefore not considered necessary.

5. However, having regard to the point made by the Committee that it would have been more appropriate to have included a provision which made a substitution for the term "FHSA" where it appears in the principal Regulations, the Department will ensure that such a provision is made when a suitable opportunity arises.

9 March 2001

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