National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006

Document Number:2006 CHAPTER 42
Coming into force:Coming into force on the 01/03/2007
 
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An Act to consolidate certain enactments relating to the health service.

[8 th November 2006]

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Part 1 Promotion and provision of the health service in Wales

The Welsh Ministers and the health service in Wales

1 Welsh Ministers' duty to promote health service

(1) The Welsh Ministers must continue the promotion in Wales of a comprehensive health service designed to secure improvement—

(a) in the physical and mental health of the people of Wales, and

(b) in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of illness.

(2) The Welsh Ministers must for that purpose provide or secure the provision of services in accordance with this Act.

(3) The services so provided must be free of charge except in so far as the making and recovery of charges is expressly provided for by or under any enactment, whenever passed.

General power to provide services

2 Welsh Ministers' general power

(1) The Welsh Ministers may—

(a) provide such services as they consider appropriate for the purpose of discharging any duty imposed on them by this Act, and

(b) do anything else which is calculated to facilitate, or is conducive or incidental to, the discharge of such a duty.

(2) Subsection (1) does not affect—

(a) the powers of the Welsh Ministers apart from this section,

(b) Part 6 and Chapter 1 of Part 7 (ophthalmic and pharmaceutical services).

Provision of particular services

3 Welsh Ministers' duty as to provision of certain services

(1) The Welsh Ministers must provide throughout Wales, to such extent as they consider necessary to meet all reasonable requirements—

(a) hospital accommodation,

(b) other accommodation for the purpose of any service provided under this Act,

(c) medical, dental, ophthalmic, nursing and ambulance services,

(d) such other services or facilities for the care of pregnant women, women who are breastfeeding and young children as they consider are appropriate as part of the health service,

(e) such other services or facilities for the prevention of illness, the care of persons suffering from illness and the after-care of persons who have suffered from illness as they consider are appropriate as part of the health service,

(f) such other services or facilities as are required for the diagnosis and treatment of illness.

(2) For the purposes of the duty in subsection (1) , services provided under—

(a) section 41(2) (primary medical services) or 56(2) (primary dental services) , or

(b) a general medical services contract or a general dental services contract,

must be regarded as provided by the Welsh Ministers.

(3) This section does not affect Part 6 and Chapter 1 of Part 7 (ophthalmic and pharmaceutical services).

4 High security psychiatric services

(1) The Welsh Ministers' duty under section 1 includes a duty to provide hospital accommodation and services for persons who—

(a) are liable to be detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 (c. 20) , and

(b) in the opinion of the Welsh Ministers require treatment under conditions of high security on account of their dangerous, violent or criminal propensities.

(2) The hospital accommodation and services mentioned in subsection (1) are referred to in this section and paragraph 15 of Schedule 3 as “high security psychiatric services”.

(3) High security psychiatric services may be provided only at hospital premises at which services are provided only for the persons mentioned in subsection (1).

(4)“Hospital premises” means—

(a) a hospital, or

(b) any part of a hospital which is treated as a separate unit.

5 Other services

Schedule 1 makes further provision about the Welsh Ministers and services under this Act.

Provision of services otherwise than in Wales

6 Performance of functions outside Wales

(1) The Welsh Ministers may provide or secure the provision of anything mentioned in section 3(1) outside Wales.

(2) The Welsh Ministers' functions may be performed outside England and Wales, in so far as they relate to—

(a) holidays for patients,

(b) the transfer of patients to or from Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands, or

(c) the return of patients who have received treatment in England and Wales, to countries or territories outside the British Islands (including for this purpose the Republic of Ireland).

NHS contracts

7 NHS contracts

(1) In this Act, an NHS contract is an arrangement under which one health service body (“the commissioner”) arranges for the provision to it by another health service body (“the provider”) of goods or services which it reasonably requires for the purposes of its functions.

(2) Section 97(6) (NHS contracts and the provision of local pharmaceutical services under pilot schemes) makes further provision about acting as commissioner for the purposes of subsection (1).

(3) Paragraph 15 of Schedule 3 (NHS trusts and NHS contracts) makes further provision about an NHS trust acting as provider for the purposes of subsection (1).

(4)“Health service body” means any of the following—

(a) a Strategic Health Authority,

(b) a Primary Care Trust,

(c) an NHS trust,

(d) a Special Health Authority,

(e) a Local Health Board,

(f) a Health Board constituted under section 2 of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978 (c. 29) ,

(g) a Health and Social Services Board constituted under the Health and Personal Social Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1972 (S.I. 1972/1265 (N.I.14)) ,

(h) the Common Services Agency for the Scottish Health Service,

(i) the Wales Centre for Health,

(j) the Health Protection Agency,

(k) the Commission for Healthcare Audit and Inspection,

(l) the Scottish Dental Practice Board,

(m) the Secretary of State,

(n) the Welsh Ministers,

(o) the Northern Ireland Central Services Agency for the Health and Social Services established under the Health and Personal Social Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1972 ,

(p) a special health and social services agency established under the Health and Personal Social Services (Special Agencies) (Northern Ireland) Order 1990 (S.I. 1990/247 (N.I.3)) ,

(q) a Health and Social Services trust established under the Health and Personal Social Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1991 (S.I. 1991/194 (N.I.1)) ,

(r) the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety.

(5) Whether or not an arrangement which constitutes an NHS contract would apart from this subsection be a contract in law, it must not to be regarded for any purpose as giving rise to contractual rights or liabilities.

(6) But if any dispute arises with respect to such an arrangement, either party may refer the matter to the Welsh Ministers for determination under this section.

(7) If, in the course of negotiations intending to lead to an arrangement which will be an NHS contract, it appears to a health service body—

(a) that the terms proposed by another health service body are unfair by reason that the other is seeking to take advantage of its position as the only, or the only practicable, provider of the goods or services concerned or by reason of any other unequal bargaining position as between the prospective parties to the proposed arrangement, or

(b) that for any other reason arising out of the relative bargaining position of the prospective parties any of the terms of the proposed arrangement cannot be agreed,

that health service body may refer the terms of the proposed arrangement to the Welsh Ministers for determination under this section.

(8) Where a reference is made to the Welsh Ministers under subsection (6) or (7) , they may determine the matter themselves or appoint a person to consider and determine it in accordance with regulations.

(9)“The appropriate person” means the Welsh Ministers or the person appointed under subsection (8).

(10) By the determination of a reference under subsection (7) , the appropriate person may specify terms to be included in the proposed arrangement and may direct that it be proceeded with.

(11) A determination of a reference under subsection (6) may contain such directions (including directions as to payment) as the appropriate person considers appropriate to resolve the matter in dispute.

(12) The appropriate person may by the determination in relation to an NHS contract vary the terms of the arrangement or bring it to an end (but this does not affect the generality of the power of determination under subsection (6)).

(13) Where an arrangement is so varied or brought to an end—

(a) subject to paragraph (b) , the variation or termination must be treated as being effected by agreement between the parties, and

(b) the directions included in the determination by virtue of subsection (11) may contain such provisions as the appropriate person considers appropriate in order to give effect to the variation or to bring the arrangement to an end.

8 Provision for bodies in Northern Ireland

(1) Subsection (2) applies where a Health and Social Services Board constituted under the Health and Personal Social Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1972 (S.I. 1972/1265 (N.I.14)) or a body mentioned in paragraph (o) , (p) , (q) or (r) of section 7(4) is a party or prospective party to an arrangement or proposed arrangement which—

(a) falls within the definition of NHS contract in section 7(1) , and

(b) also falls within the definition of HSS contract in Article 8 of the Health and Personal Social Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1991 (S.I. 1991/194 (N.I.1)).

(2) Subsections (5) to (13) of section 7 apply in relation to the arrangement or proposed arrangement with the substitution for references to the Welsh Ministers of references to the Welsh Ministers and the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety acting jointly.

9 Arrangements to be treated as NHS contracts

(1) This section applies to any arrangement under which a Local Health Board or such other health...

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