§ Mr. Burstow
To ask the Secretary of State for Health which inspectorate (1)(a) has responsibility and (b) will have responsibility after 1 April for (i) registering and (ii) inspecting independent diagnostic and treatment centres; 
(2) how clinical governance in independent diagnostic and treatment centres will be (a) inspected and (b) audited. 
§ Mr. Hutton
[holding answer 19 January 2004]: Currently, the National Care Standards Commission (NCSC) has responsibility, under the Care Standards Act 2000, for registering and inspecting independent treatment centres in England against the National Minimum Standards and Regulations issued by the Secretary of State in February 2002.
The Commission for Health Improvement (CHI) also has powers, under the NHS Reform and Healthcare Professions Act 2002, to inspect the clinical governance arrangements of treatment centres providing healthcare for national health service bodies.1356W
From 1 April 2004, responsibility for these functions will transfer from the NCSC and CHI to the Commission for Healthcare Audit and Inspection (CHAI, under the Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003. CHAI will also publish an annual report to Parliament on the state of healthcare, which will include a section on what it has found as the registration authority of independent health care providers.