NHS Redress Act 2006

Publication Date:January 01, 2006
 
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NHS Redress Act 2006

2006 Chapter 44

An Act to make provision about arrangements for redress in relation to liability in tort in connection with services provided as part of the health service in England or Wales; and for connected purposes.

[8th 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:—

England

England

S-1 Power to establish redress scheme

1 Power to establish redress scheme

(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations establish a scheme for the purpose of enabling redress to be provided without recourse to civil proceedings in circumstances in which this section applies.

(2) This section applies where under the law of England and Wales qualifying liability in tort on the part of a body or other person mentioned in subsection (3) arises in connection with the provision, as part of the health service in England, of qualifying services.

(3) The bodies and other persons referred to are—

(a) the Secretary of State

(b) a Primary Care Trust

(c) a designated Strategic Health Authority, and

(d) a body or other person providing, or arranging for the provision of, services whose provision is the subject of arrangements with a body or other person mentioned in paragraph (a), (b) or (c).

(4) The reference in subsection (2) to qualifying liability in tort is to liability in tort owed—

(a) in respect of or consequent upon personal injury or loss arising out of or in connection with breach of a duty of care owed to any person in connection with the diagnosis of illness, or the care or treatment of any patient, and

(b) in consequence of any act or omission by a health care professional.

(5) For the purposes of subsection (2), services are qualifying services if—

(a) they are provided in a hospital (in England or elsewhere), or

(b) they are of such other description (including a description involving provision outside England) as the Secretary of State may specify by regulations.

(6) Regulations under subsection (5)(b) may not specify services of any of the following descriptions—

(a) primary dental services

(b) primary medical services

(c) services provided under section 38 of the National Health Service Act 1977 (c. 49) (general ophthalmic services)

(d) services provided under section 41 of that Act (arrangements for pharmaceutical services) or by virtue of section 41A of that Act (arrangements for additional pharmaceutical services), and

(e) services of a kind which may be provided under section 41 of that Act, or by virtue of section 41A of that Act, which are provided under Schedule 8A to that Act (local pharmaceutical services schemes) or section 28 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001 (c. 15) (local pharmaceutical services pilot schemes).

(7) The references in subsection (6) to primary dental services and primary medical services are to primary dental services and primary medical services under Part 1 of the National Health Service Act 1977, except that the Secretary of State may by regulations provide that services of a description specified in the regulations are not to be regarded as primary dental services or primary medical services for the purposes of that subsection.

(8) Regulations under subsection (5)(b) or (7) may, in particular, describe services by reference to the manner or circumstances in which they are provided.

(9) In subsection (3)(d), the reference to a person providing services does not include a person providing services under a contract of employment.

(10) In subsection (4), the reference to a health care professional is to a member of a profession (whether or not regulated by, or by virtue of, any enactment) which is concerned (wholly or partly) with the physical or mental health of individuals.

(11) In this section, "hospital" has the same meaning as in the National Health Service Act 1977.

S-2 Application of scheme

2 Application of scheme

(1) Subject to subsection (2), a scheme may make such provision defining its application as the Secretary of State thinks fit.

(2) A scheme must provide that it does not apply in relation to a liability that is or has been the subject of civil proceedings.

S-3 Redress under scheme

3 Redress under scheme

(1) Subject to subsections (2) and (5), a scheme may make such provision as the Secretary of State thinks fit about redress under the scheme.

(2) A scheme must provide for redress ordinarily to comprise—

(a) the making of an offer of compensation in satisfaction of any right to bring civil proceedings in respect of the liability concerned,

(b) the giving of an explanation,

(c) the giving of an apology, and

(d) the giving of a report on the action which has been, or will be, taken to prevent similar cases arising,

but may specify circumstances in which one or more of those forms of redress is not required.

(3) A scheme may, in particular—

(a) make provision for the compensation that may be offered to take the form of entry into a contract to provide care or treatment or of financial compensation, or both;

(b) make provision about the circumstances in which different forms of compensation may be offered.

(4) A scheme that provides for financial compensation to be offered may, in particular—

(a) make provision about the matters in respect of which financial compensation may be offered;

(b) make provision with respect to the assessment of the amount of any financial compensation.

(5) A scheme that provides for financial compensation to be offered—

(a) may specify an upper limit on the amount of financial compensation that may be included in an offer under the scheme;

(b) if it does not specify a limit under paragraph (a), must specify an upper limit on the amount of financial compensation that may be included in such an offer in respect of pain and suffering;

(c) may not specify any other limit on what may be included in such an offer by way of financial compensation.

S-4 Commencement of proceedings under scheme

4 Commencement of proceedings under scheme

(1) A scheme may make such provision as the Secretary of State thinks fit about the commencement of proceedings under the scheme.

(2) A scheme may, in particular, make provision—

(a) about who may commence proceedings under the scheme;

(b) about how proceedings under the scheme may be commenced;

(c) for time limits in relation to the commencement of proceedings under the scheme;

(d) about circumstances in which proceedings under the scheme may not be commenced;

(e) requiring proceedings under the scheme to be commenced in specified circumstances;

(f) for notification of the commencement of proceedings under the scheme in specified circumstances.

S-5 Duty to consider potential application of scheme

5 Duty to consider potential application of scheme

(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision requiring any body or other person mentioned in subsection (2)—

(a) to consider, in such circumstances as the regulations may provide, whether a case that the body or other person is investigating or reviewing involves liability to which a scheme applies, and

(b) if it appears that it does, to take such steps as the regulations may provide.

(2) The bodies and other persons referred to are—

(a) any body or other person to whose liability a scheme applies, and

(b) the Commission for Healthcare Audit and Inspection.

S-6 Proceedings under scheme

6 Proceedings under scheme

(1) Subject to subsections (3) to (6), a scheme may make such provision as the Secretary of State thinks fit about proceedings under the scheme.

(2) A scheme may, in particular, make provision—

(a) about the investigation of cases under the scheme (including provision for the overseeing of the investigation by an individual of a specified description);

(b) about the making of decisions about the application of the scheme;

(c) for time limits in relation to acceptance of an offer of compensation under the scheme;

(d) about the form and content of settlement agreements under the scheme;

(e) for settlement agreements under the scheme to be subject in cases of a specified description to approval by a court;

(f) about the termination of proceedings under the scheme.

(3) A scheme must—

(a) make provision for the findings of an investigation of a case under the scheme to be recorded in a report, and

(b) subject to subsection (4), make provision for a copy of the report to be provided on request to the individual seeking redress.

(4) A scheme may provide that no copy of an investigation report need be provided—

(a) before an offer is made under the scheme or proceedings under the scheme are terminated, or

(b) in such other circumstances as may be specified.

(5) A scheme must provide for a settlement agreement under the scheme to include a waiver of the right to bring civil proceedings in respect of the liability to which the settlement relates.

(6) A scheme must provide for the termination of proceedings under the scheme if the liability to which the proceedings relate becomes the subject of civil proceedings.

S-7 Suspension of limitation period

7 Suspension of limitation period

(1) A scheme must make provision for the period during which a liability is the subject of proceedings under the scheme to be disregarded for the purposes of calculating whether any relevant limitation period has expired.

(2) In subsection (1), the reference to any relevant limitation period is to any period of time for the bringing of civil proceedings in respect of the liability which is prescribed by or under the Limitation Act 1980 (c. 58)

or any other enactment.

(3) A scheme may define for the...

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