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Health Services

Health written question – answered on 27th June 2012.

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Photo of Anne McIntosh Anne McIntosh Chair, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the Secretary of State will (a) retain ultimate accountability for the health services and (b) continue to have a responsibility for securing the provision of services.

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

The Secretary of State for Health, my right hon. Friend Mr Lansley, will continue to be accountable overall for the national health service. Section 1 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, makes explicit that:

“the Secretary of State retains ministerial responsibility to Parliament for the provision of the health service in England”.

Clinical commissioning groups will be responsible for actually commissioning most NHS services, supported by and accountable to the NHS Commissioning Board. However, Ministers will oversee the system and hold the NHS Commissioning Board and other national bodies to account, in line with the Secretary of State's duty to exercise his functions:

“so as to secure that services are provided”.

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