Nurses and Midwives Act 2011
Co-operation with certain bodies.
15.— (1) As soon as is practicable after the commencement of this section, there shall be entered into between the Board and every one of the prescribed bodies one or more agreements for the purposes of—
( a) facilitating co-operation between the Board and the prescribed bodies in the performance of their respective functions in so far as they relate to issues of the protection of the public by the promotion of high standards of professional competence among nurses and midwives,
( b) avoiding duplication of activities by the Board and any of the prescribed bodies,
( c) enabling the Board to be consulted in relation to any decisions by the prescribed bodies which affect the public where they relate to questions of professional competence of nurses or midwives,
( d) where appropriate, conducting joint studies or analysis of matters relating to nursing and midwifery and the protection of the public,
and each such agreement that is entered into is referred to in this section as a “co-operation agreement”.
(2) It shall not be necessary for the purposes of subsection (1) that the same prescribed bodies be party to each agreement entered into with the Board under that subsection.
(3) A co-operation agreement shall include provisions—
( a) enabling each party to furnish to another party information in its possession if the information is required by that other party for the purpose of the performance by it of any of its functions,
( b) enabling each party to forbear to perform any of its functions in relation to a matter in circumstances where it is satisfied that another party is performing functions in relation to that matter, and
( c) requiring each party to consult with any other party before performing any functions in circumstances where the respective exercise by each party of the functions concerned involves the determination of issues of the professional competence of nurses or midwives for the protection of the public that are identical to one another or are within the same category of such an issue, being a category specified in the co-operation agreement.
(4) A co-operation agreement may be varied by the parties concerned.
(5) The Minister and, where relevant, the Minister or Ministers of the Government with responsibility for the prescribed body concerned shall each be furnished by the Board with a copy of every co-operation agreement (including any variation of the agreement) that has been made within 1 month after the agreement (or the variation of it) has been made.
(6) A co-operation agreement, or any variation made to it, shall be in writing and, as soon as practicable after the agreement or variation has been made and furnished to the Minister or Ministers of the Government concerned, notice of its making shall be published by the parties in the prescribed manner.
(7) If information is furnished by one party to another party pursuant to a provision of a co-operation agreement of the kind referred to in subsection (3)(a), the provisions of any enactment concerning the disclosure of that information by the first-mentioned party shall apply to the second-mentioned party with respect to that information.
(8) A failure by the Board or a prescribed body to comply with a provision of a co-operation agreement shall not invalidate the exercise by it of any power.
(9) The Minister may make regulations prescribing bodies for the purposes of this section having regard to the functions and activities of such bodies as they relate to the regulation of nurses and midwives or the protection of the public and, before prescribing a body for which another Minister of the Government has responsibility, the Minister shall consult with that other Minister.
(10) In this section, “party” means a party to a co-operation agreement and a reference to another party (whether that expression or the expression “the other party” is used) shall, where there are 2 or more other parties to the agreement, be construed as a reference to one or more of those other parties or each of them, as may be appropriate.