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Health and Social Care (Quality and Engagement) (Wales) Act 2020

The Health and Social Care (Quality and Engagement) (Wales) Act 2020 (the 2020 Act) seeks to improve the quality of health and social care services in Wales by: 

  • strengthening the existing duty of quality on NHS bodies and also extending it to the Welsh Ministers, by requiring them to exercise their health service functions with a view to improving the overall quality of health services
  • establishing an organisational duty of candour on providers of NHS services, requiring them to be open and honest with patients and service users when things go wrong 
  • strengthening the voice of citizens by replacing Community Health Councils with a new all-Wales Citizen Voice body (known as Llais) to represent the interests of people across health and social care
  • strengthening the governance arrangements of NHS Trusts by enabling them to appoint Vice Chairs, bringing them into line with health boards.

The Explanatory Notes to the Act provide detailed commentary on the various provisions.

Coming into force:

Sections 29 and 30 of the Act came into force on 2 June 2020, which was the day after it received Royal Assent, in accordance with section 29. Section 29(2) provides that the remaining provisions come into force when one or more orders are made by the Welsh Ministers. The following orders have been made:


Subordinate legislation made under the Act:

TitleCitation numberMade dateComing into force dateSupporting documents
The Health and Social Care (Quality and Engagement) (Wales) Act 2020 (Consequential, Supplementary and Incidental Amendments and Revocations) (Secondary Legislation) Regulations 20232023 No. 299 (W. 44)9 March 20231 April 2023 apart from regulations 2, 9(5)(c), (e), (f) and (g), 9(6)(c), (e), (f) and (g) and 9(7)(c), which come into force on 1 July 2023Explanatory memorandum
The Duty of Candour Procedure (Wales) Regulations 20232023 No. 274 (W. 41)7 March 20231 April 2023Explanatory Memorandum 
Statutory guidance on representations made by the Citizen Voice Body 30 March 2023  

Consideration of the legislation by the Senedd: 

The Bill was introduced by Vaughan Gething MS, (the then) Minister for Health and Social Services on 17 June 2019 and passed by Senedd Cymru on 17 March 2020.

More information about the Bill is available on the Senedd’s website, including a record of the passage of the Bill through the Senedd (the then National Assembly for Wales) and the Explanatory Memorandum that was prepared by the Welsh Government (as revised after Stage 2).

The Act received Royal Assent on 1 June 2020.

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Last updated
30 April 2024