Clause 39

Part of Statistics and Registration Service Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:30 am on 25th January 2007.

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Photo of John Healey John Healey The Financial Secretary to the Treasury 9:30 am, 25th January 2007

I shall answer the hon. Gentleman’s questions simply and specifically, as they refer to what appears to be the main concern about the clause. There will of course be circumstances in which the Registrar General, both now and when the role is separated from the office and function of the National Statistician, passes data directly to the health service. Information that could include name, date of birth, place of birth, usual address and other such data may go straight from the Registrar General to the health service. As the ONS is currently able to do, the statistics board can add to that data coding by post code, by ward and by administrative area. In other words, the statistics service may add further data that enrich what can then be passed to, and used by, the health service.

There are circumstances in which and data on which the ONS can add further analysis of a quality that is of value to the health service. The clause is designed to cover and make provision for circumstances in the future when the Registrar General and the National Statistician are no longer legally and operationally the same person.