Partnership Arrangements

December 1st, 2015

Part 3 of the consolidating National Health Service Act 2006 (“the 2006 Act”) relates to local authorities and the NHS, Part 4 to medical services, and Part 11 to Property and Finance.  Within Part 3, Section 75 relates to arrangements between NHS bodies and local authorities.  Under its predecessor provisions there were made the NHS Bodies and Local Authorities Partnership Regulations 2000, SI 2000/617 (“the 2000 Regulations”).  The NHS Bodies and Local Authorities Partnership Arrangements (Amendment) Regulations 2015, SI 2015/1940 (“the 2015 Regulations”), laid before Parliament on 30 November 2015, and which are due to come into force on 1 April 2016, amend the 2000 Regulations.

Partnership arrangements under Section 75 of the 2006 Act include the establishment of funds made up of contributions by one or more NHS bodies and one or more local authorities (“pooled funds”). Sections 223B and 223GA within Part 11of the 2006 Act, as amended by Section 121 of the Care Act 2014, make provision for a fund for the integration of care and support with health services known as “the Better Care Fund”. As part of the Better Care Fund arrangements, the National Health Service Commissioning Board must require NHS bodies (in this case Clinical Commissioning Groups) to make payments into a pooled fund as part of arrangements made with local authorities under Section 75 of the 2006 Act.

Regulation 2(2) of the 2015 Regulations amends the 2000 Regulations so that, in the case of partnership arrangements entered into as part of the Better Care Fund, there is no longer a requirement for Clinical Commissioning Groups and local authorities to consult persons who appear to be affected by such arrangements.

Regulation 2(3) of the 2015 Regulations amends the 2000 Regulations to include the function of arranging primary medical services under Section 83, within Part 4, of the 2006 Act (a function of the National Health Service Commissioning Board) as a function in respect of which partnership arrangements can be entered into.

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