Health and Social Care Bill
Paul Burstow (The Minister of State, Department of Health; Sutton and Cheam, Liberal Democrat)
This minor and technical amendment will ensure that clause 50 functions as intended. New section 247A of the National Health Service Act 2006, which the clause inserts, will require co-operation between the Secretary of State and other people or organisations engaged in health protection activity, to ensure a joined-up approach to fighting the spread of disease and other dangers to health. Most provisions in the Bill extend to England and Wales only, but apply only to England. However, by virtue of clause 280(3), the intention is that clause 50 will apply across the UK, including the areas covered by the Governments of the devolved Administrations.
It is important that the Secretary of State can co-operate with the relevant authorities in other countries to protect the UK and international health. The amendment is necessary to ensure that the Secretary of State is able to provide assistance outside England under his duty of co-operation. Section 271(1) to the 2006 Act states that the functions of the Secretary of State
“are exercisable only in relation to England.”
The amendment will disapply the section and allow the Secretary of State to provide assistance outside England under his duty of co-operation, for example, by assisting developing countries to develop strategies for fighting disease.