Care Standards Bill [H.L.] - continued        House of Lords
PART I, INTRODUCTORY - continued

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Registration authorities
Registration authorities.     5. For the purposes of this Act-
 
 
    (a) the registration authority in relation to England is the National Care Standards Commission;
 
    (b) the registration authority in relation to Wales is the National Assembly for Wales (referred to in this Act as "the Assembly").
National Care Standards Commission.     6. - (1) There shall be a body corporate, to be known as the National Care Standards Commission (referred to in this Act as "the Commission"), which shall exercise in relation to England the functions conferred on it by or under this Act or any other enactment.
 
      (2) The Commission shall, in the exercise of its functions, act-
 
 
    (a) in accordance with any directions in writing given to it by the Secretary of State; and
 
    (b) under the general guidance of the Secretary of State.
      (3) Schedule 1 shall have effect with respect to the Commission.
 
General duties of the Commission.     7. - (1) The Commission shall have the general duty of keeping the Secretary of State informed about the provision in England of Part II services and, in particular, about-
 
 
    (a) the availability of the provision; and
 
    (b) the quality of the services.
      (2) The Commission shall have the general duty of encouraging improvement in the quality of Part II services provided in England.
 
      (3) The Commission shall make information about Part II services provided in England available to the public.
 
      (4) When asked to do so by the Secretary of State, the Commission shall give the Secretary of State advice or information on such matters relating to the provision in England of Part II services as may be specified in the Secretary of States's request.
 
      (5) The Commission may at any time give advice to the Secretary of State on-
 
 
    (a) any changes which the Commission think should be made, for the purpose of securing improvement in the quality of Part II services provided in England, in the standards set out in statements under section 22; and
 
    (b) any other matter connected with the provision in England of Part II services.
      (6) The Secretary of State may by regulations confer additional functions on the Commission in relation to Part II services provided in England.
 
      (7) In this section, "Part II services" means services of the kind provided by persons registered under Part II, other than the provision of-
 
 
    (a) medical or psychiatric treatment, or
 
    (b) listed services (as defined in section 2).
      (8) "Excepted services" means the provision of services referred to in subsections (7)(a) and (b).
 
      (9) The Commission shall have the general duty of securing improvements in the quality of excepted services in independent hospitals (as defined in section 2) and shall carry out this duty through the contracting of inspections with the Commission for Health Improvement ("CHI") established by the Health Act 1999.
 
      (10) For the purposes of subsection (9) above the Commission shall ensure that the relevant independent hospital pays the full economic costs of any inspection.
 
      (11) The standards applied by CHI on any such inspection shall be those which it applies in any comparable inspection of a health service hospital.
 
General functions of the Assembly.     8. - (1) The Assembly may charge a reasonable fee determined by it in connection with the exercise of any power conferred on it by or under this Act.
 
      (2) The Assembly may provide training for the purpose of assisting persons to attain standards set out in any statements published by it under section 22.
 
Inquiries.     9. - (1) The Secretary of State may cause an inquiry to be held into any matter connected with the exercise by the Commission of its functions.
 
      (2) The appropriate Minister may cause an inquiry to be held into any matter connected with a service provided in or by an establishment or agency.
 
      (3) Before an inquiry is begun, the person causing the inquiry to be held may direct that it shall be held in private.
 
      (4) Where no direction has been given, the person holding the inquiry may if he thinks fit hold it, or any part of it, in private.
 
      (5) Subsections (2) to (5) of section 250 of the Local Government Act 1972 (powers in relation to local inquiries) shall apply in relation to an inquiry under this section as they apply in relation to a local inquiry under that section; and references in those provisions as so applied to a Minister shall be taken to include references to the Assembly.
 
      (6) Subsections (3) and (4) apply in relation to an inquiry under section 35 of the Government of Wales Act 1998 into any matter relevant to the exercise of the Assembly's registration functions as they apply in relation to an inquiry under this section.
 
      (7) In this section "registration functions" means functions under this Act in connection with the registration of persons in respect of establishments and agencies.
 
      (8) The report of the person who held the inquiry shall, unless the Minister who caused the inquiry to be held considers that it would be inappropriate to publish it, be published in a manner which that Minister considers appropriate.
 
 
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