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National Health Service Act 2006

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Part 1 E+WPromotion and provision of the health service in England

The Secretary of State and the health service in EnglandE+W

1Secretary of State's duty to promote health serviceE+W

(1)The Secretary of State must continue the promotion in England of a comprehensive health service designed to secure improvement—

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

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

(2)The Secretary of State 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 servicesE+W

2Secretary of State's general powerE+W

(1)The Secretary of State may—

(a)provide such services as he considers appropriate for the purpose of discharging any duty imposed on him 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 Secretary of State's powers apart from this section,

(b)Chapter 1 of Part 7 (pharmaceutical services).

Provision of particular servicesE+W

3Secretary of State's duty as to provision of certain servicesE+W

(1)The Secretary of State must provide throughout England, to such extent as he considers 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 he considers 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 he considers 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 83(2) (primary medical services), section 99(2) (primary dental services) or section 115(4) (primary ophthalmic services), or

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

must be regarded as provided by the Secretary of State.

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

4High security psychiatric servicesE+W

(1)The Secretary of State's 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 Secretary of State 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 4 (NHS trusts) 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.

5Other servicesE+W

Schedule 1 makes further provision about the Secretary of State and services under this Act.

Provision of services otherwise than in EnglandE+W

6Performance of functions outside EnglandE+W

(1)The Secretary of State may provide or secure the provision of anything mentioned in section 3(1) outside England.

(2)The Secretary of State's 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).

Exercise and distribution of functionsE+W

7Distribution of health service functionsE+W

(1)The Secretary of State may direct a Strategic Health Authority, a Primary Care Trust or a Special Health Authority to exercise any of his functions relating to the health service which are specified in the directions.

(2)The Secretary of State may direct a Special Health Authority to exercise any functions of a Strategic Health Authority or a Primary Care Trust which are specified in the directions.

(3)The functions which may be specified in directions include functions under enactments relating to mental health and care homes.

8Secretary of State's directions to health service bodiesE+W

(1)The Secretary of State may give directions to any of the bodies mentioned in subsection (2) about its exercise of any functions.

(2)The bodies are—

(a)Strategic Health Authorities,

(b)Primary Care Trusts,

(c)NHS trusts, and

(d)Special Health Authorities.

(3)Nothing in provision made by or under this or any other Act affects the generality of subsection (1).

NHS contractsE+W

9NHS contractsE+W

(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 139(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 4 (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 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 Secretary of State 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 Secretary of State for determination under this section.

(8)Where a reference is made to the Secretary of State under subsection (6) or (7), he may determine the matter himself or appoint a person to consider and determine it in accordance with regulations.

(9)The appropriate person” means the Secretary of State 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.

10Provision for bodies in Northern IrelandE+W

(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 9(4) is a party or prospective party to an arrangement or proposed arrangement which—

(a)falls within the definition of NHS contract in section 9(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 9 apply in relation to the arrangement or proposed arrangement with the substitution for references to the Secretary of State of references to the Secretary of State and the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety acting jointly.

11Arrangements to be treated as NHS contractsE+W

(1)This section applies to any arrangement under which a Strategic Health Authority, a Primary Care Trust or such other health service body as may be prescribed arrange for the provision to it—

(a)by a contractor under a general ophthalmic services contract,

(b)by a person on an ophthalmic list,

(c)by a person on a pharmaceutical list, or

(d)by a person who has entered into a pharmaceutical care services contract under section 17Q of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978 (c. 29),

of the goods or services mentioned in subsection (2).

(2)The goods or services are those that the body reasonably requires for the purposes of its functions, other than functions under—

(a)section 115 (primary ophthalmic services),

(b)Chapter 1 or 2 of Part 7 (pharmaceutical services and local pharmaceutical services under pilot schemes), or

(c)Part 6 of, or Chapter 1 or 2 of Part 7 of, the National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006 (c. 42) (general ophthalmic services and pharmaceutical services and local pharmaceutical services under pilot schemes).

(3)Any such arrangement must be treated as an NHS contract for the purposes of section 9 (other than subsections (7) and (10)).

(4)Health service body” means a body which is a health service body for the purposes of section 9.

(5)Ophthalmic list” means a list published in accordance with regulations made under—

(a)section 72(1)(a) of the National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006,

(b)section 26(2)(a) of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978, or

(c)Article 62(2)(a) of the Health and Personal Social Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1972 (S.I. 1972/1265 (N.I.14)).

(6)The reference to a list published in accordance with regulations made under paragraph (a) of section 26(2) of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978 is a reference to the first part of the list (referred to in sub-paragraph (i) of that paragraph) which is published in accordance with regulations under that paragraph.

(7)Pharmaceutical list” includes a list published in accordance with regulations made under—

(a)section 83(2)(a) of the National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006, or

(b)Article 63(2A)(a) of the Health and Personal Social Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1972.

Provision of services otherwise than by the Secretary of StateE+W

12Secretary of State's arrangements with other bodiesE+W

(1)The Secretary of State may arrange with any person or body to provide, or assist in providing, any service under this Act.

(2)Arrangements may be made under subsection (1) with voluntary organisations.

(3)The Secretary of State may make available any facilities provided by him for any service under this Act—

(a)to any person or body carrying out any arrangements under subsection (1), or

(b)to any voluntary organisation eligible for assistance under section 64 or section 65 of the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968 (c. 46).

(4)Where facilities are made available under subsection (3), the Secretary of State may make available the services of any person employed in connection with the facilities by—

(a)the Secretary of State,

(b)a Strategic Health Authority,

(c)a Primary Care Trust,

(d)a Special Health Authority, or

(e)a Local Health Board.

(5)Powers under this section may be exercised on such terms as may be agreed, including terms as to the making of payments by or to the Secretary of State.

(6)Goods or materials may be made available either temporarily or permanently.

(7)Any power to supply goods or materials under this section includes—

(a)a power to purchase and store them, and

(b)a power to arrange with third parties for the supply of goods or materials by those third parties.

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