Further to the article in January’s Health Legal Update, we can confirm that the provisions of the new Health and Social Care Act 2008 will be coming into force from September 2008 after the Act received Royal Assent on 21 July. This Act establishes the new "super" Care Quality Commission, which replaces the Healthcare Commission, Commission for Social Care Inspection and the Mental Health Act Commission. Cynthia Bower, previously chief executive of West Midlands strategic health authority, has been appointed as the chief executive of the new commission.

The Act also undertakes a regulatory role in relation to health professionals by establishing a new adjudicator to make independent decisions about the performance of individual health professionals. Responsible Officers will undertake the same role in relation to doctors at a local level.

The Health Minister, Ben Bradshaw, says of the new Act "this (Act) will help to protect the health, safety and welfare of those who use health and social care services".

The Department of Health press release announcing the passing of the Act can be accessed at: http://nds.coi.gov.uk/content/detail.asp?NewsAreaID=2&ReleaseID=374770