I am sorry to delay the Committee, but I have read this clause and the relevant explanatory note and I just wondered what its purpose was.
This perfectly crafted clause gives support to many of the others in the Bill. It enables the Information Centre to be provided, under regulations, with functions in connection with verification of the identity of GPs who are able to issue prescriptions. The clause is necessary to ensure that the Information Centre can collect such information. The process would involve the Information Centre checking the identity of GPs and issuing numbers that are unique to individual GPs and used in prescribing services. That is needed to ensure that only authorised GPs are able to issue prescriptions, which is a necessary safeguard of the sort that we discussed earlier in the week.