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The Road Traffic (NHS Charges) Act 1999

Section 11: Provision of information

In order for the new system of collection to work information will have to be exchanged by the various parties involved in the chain of events from accident to payment of compensation. The Act gives powers under regulations for gathering information relevant to the collection of NHS charges. The mechanism for NHS charges recovery relies on the compensator being able to supply the CRU with sufficient information for the details of the claim to be verified with the relevant hospital. It is likely that the additional powers to collect information from, for example, the accident victim or his representative will only be used where the information provided by the compensator is insufficient.

It is envisaged that in the normal course of events with the tariff presently planned the only information which will be needed about the victim's NHS treatment will be to categorise it as treatment without admission, for example in an accident and emergency department or an out-patient clinic, or treatment given as an in-patient plus the number of days of admission. Where however an appeal against NHS charges is subsequently made on the grounds that the treatment given was not as a result of the road traffic accident in question then there may be a need for more detailed information. Regulations will restrict applications for such information so that it can only be sought and used in limited circumstances.

Section 11 also provides a power to define what is meant by a claim and the person against whom a claim is made. It is intended that regulations will require those who might make a compensation payment falling within the scheme to notify CRU, without being asked, that a claim for compensation has been made, and to provide certain information about the claim. Accordingly “claim” and “person against whom the claim is made” will, for the purpose of this Act, be defined in regulations to make it clear who has the obligation to give the information and when that obligation arises.

There are variations in claims handling practice within the insurance industry and it is our intention that these should not affect the stage at which CRU needs to be made aware of a claim. Since it is also possible that insurance company procedures for dealing with claims may change over time it is desirable to be able to change these definitions by regulations (rather than primary legislation) so as to be able to keep abreast of current practice.

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