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Health protection legislation

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Legislation surrounding the prevention and controlling the spread of infectious disease.

Individuals taking care of their own health is not always enough to protect the health of the population in general. 

Consequently, legislation has long provided that local authorities may take certain actions or make certain requirements, to protect overall public health.

This legislation is included in the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 ('the 1984 Act') which was updated by the Health and Social Care Act 2008. The amended 1984 Act came into force on 26 July 2010.

Health Protection Regulations

Under the amended 1984 Act, Welsh Ministers have powers to make regulations to enable public bodies to respond to public health threats.

Following a consultation exercise between November 2009 and January 2010, Welsh Ministers made three sets of regulations.

Except for provisions relating to diagnostic laboratories, these regulations came into force on 26 July 2010.

The regulations are:

  • The Health Protection (Notification) (Wales) Regulations 2010: These Regulations include a revised list of diseases that doctors must report to the local authority. The regulations also include new provisions for cases that may have been caused by contamination with chemicals or radiation. From 1 October 2010, diagnostic laboratories will also have to report if they find specific micro-organisms in human samples
  • The Health Protection (Part 2A Orders) (Wales) Regulations 2010: These Regulations provide details on the evidence required before a Justice of the Peace (JP) can make an order on a person to protect public health. The Regulations also set out safeguards for people affected by an order
  • The Health Protection (Local Authority Powers) (Wales) Regulations 2010:These Regulations update local authorities powers and duties relating to their health protection role.

The Health Protection (Notification) (Wales) Regulations 2010 (external link, English only)

The Health Protection (Part 2A Orders) (Wales) Regulations 2010 (external link, English only)

The Health Protection (Local Authority Powers) (Wales) Regulations 2010 (external link, English only)

Health Protection Legislation (Wales) Guidance 2010

The Welsh Government, in consultation with key stakeholders has published guidance on the updated health protection legislation.

This guidance explains the notification requirements of registered medical practitioners and laboratories testing human samples as well as health protection powers available to local authorities and justices of the peace.

Review of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984

  • The Health and Social Care Act 2008 made amendments to the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984. For further information visit: Health and Social Care Bill 2007-08 (external link, English only) 
  • Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 (as amended by the Health and Social Care Act 2008).

This informal document (external link), produced by the Department of Health, has been prepared to assist the reader to observe the effects of the amendments introduced by the Health and Social Care Act 2008. It should not be relied upon for any other purpose. While every effort has been made in the production of this document, the Department of Health can accept no responsibility for its accuracy.