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Health Services: Regulation

Health written question – answered on 24th November 2011.

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Photo of Valerie Vaz Valerie Vaz Labour, Walsall South

To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reasons he decided the Care Quality Commission was ready to take on the regulation of (a) providers of dental services in 2011 and (b) NHS primary medical services in 2012.

Photo of Simon Burns Simon Burns The Minister of State, Department of Health

The timetable for the registration of providers of healthcare and adult social care, including providers of primary dental services and national health service primary medical services, is set out in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010. These Regulations were approved by Parliament in March 2010 under the previous Government.

Under the terms of the regulations providers of different types of health care and adult social care services were required to register with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in several waves between April 2010 and April 2012. This phased approach to implementing the new registration system was designed to make the workload of registering around 30,000 providers more manageable for the CQC.

In April 2011, the registration of providers of primary dental service providers and independent ambulance services proved more challenging than had been anticipated and was not completed by 1 April 2011. In the light of this, the Department has put in place regulations that defer the registration of most providers of NHS primary medical services until 1 April 2013. This delay will provide the CQC with the opportunity to ensure that its systems, tools and processes are refined in the light of the experience of earlier registration rounds.

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