Clause 40

Part of Statistics and Registration Service Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:45 am on 25th January 2007.

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Photo of John Healey John Healey The Financial Secretary to the Treasury 9:45 am, 25th January 2007

My hon. Friend has become something of an expert in the field. She has powerfully made the case for the provisions, which we continue in clause 40. The clause is drafted to create a statutory gateway that will allow the board to continue to have access to patient registration information for the production of population statistics.

Amendments Nos. 167 and 169 would widen the scope of clauses 40 and 41 so that the patient registration information could be used by the board for any purpose. The clause would, therefore, not restrict how the information might be used by the board—although, clearly, when taken with amendment No. 166, the usefulness of the information for the board would be limited.

I have explained the Government’s intention, as part of the reforms, to transfer the national health service central register from the Office for National Statistics. Given that, placing the long-standing data-sharing arrangement on a statutory footing is necessary, so that the board can continue to use patient registration information for the production of important population statistics. I hope that that assures hon. Members.