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National Health Service Act 2006

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Chapter 1Patients' Forums

237Establishment of Patients' Forums

(1)The Patients' Forums established by the Secretary of State continue in existence, and he must establish a Patients' Forum—

(a)for each NHS trust all or most of whose hospitals, establishments and facilities are situated in England,

(b)for each Primary Care Trust, and

(c)for each NHS foundation trust.

(2)The members of each Patients' Forum must be appointed by the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health.

(3)A Patients' Forum must—

(a)monitor and review the range and operation of services provided by, or under arrangements made by, the trust for which it is established,

(b)obtain the views of patients and their carers about those matters and report on those views to the trust,

(c)provide advice, and make reports and recommendations, about matters relating to the range and operation of those services to the trust,

(d)make available to patients and their carers advice and information about those services,

(e)in prescribed circumstances, perform any prescribed function of the trust with respect to the provision of a service affording assistance to patients and their families and carers,

(f)carry out such other functions as may be prescribed.

(4)In providing advice or making recommendations under subsection (3)(c), a Patients' Forum must have regard to the views of patients and their carers.

(5)If, in the course of exercising its functions, a Patients' Forum becomes aware of any matter which in its view—

(a)should be considered by a relevant overview and scrutiny committee, or

(b)should be brought to the attention of the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health,

the Forum may refer that matter to the committee, or to the Commission.

(6)Subsection (5) does not affect the power of a Patients' Forum to make such other representations or referrals as it considers appropriate, to such persons or bodies as it considers appropriate, about matters arising in the course of it exercising its functions.

(7)Patients' Forums must in prescribed circumstances—

(a)co-operate with each other in the exercise of their functions,

(b)exercise functions jointly with one or more other Forums.

(8)References in subsection (3) to services are references to—

(a)services provided as part of the health service in England,

(b)services provided in England in pursuance of section 75 arrangements in relation to the exercise of health-related functions of a local authority, and

(c)services provided elsewhere (and not as part of the health service in England) in pursuance of section 75 arrangements with a local authority in England.

(9)In this section—

  • “carer”, in relation to a patient, means a person who provides care for the patient, but who is not employed to do so by any body in the exercise of its functions under any enactment,

  • “patient” includes a person who receives services provided in pursuance of section 75 arrangements in relation to the exercise of health-related functions of a local authority,

  • “relevant overview and scrutiny committee”, in relation to a Patients' Forum, means any overview and scrutiny committee in relation to which the Primary Care Trust, NHS trust or NHS foundation trust for which the Forum is established is a local NHS body by virtue of regulations made under section 244(3) (including that provision as read with section 245(5) and as applied by section 247(2)),

  • “section 75 arrangements” means arrangements under regulations under section 75.

238Additional functions of PCT Patients' Forums

(1)A Patients' Forum established for a Primary Care Trust (a “PCT Patients' Forum”) has the following additional functions—

(a)providing independent advocacy services to persons in the Primary Care Trust’s area or persons to whom services have been provided by, or under arrangements with, the Primary Care Trust,

(b)making available to patients and their carers advice and information about the making of complaints in relation to services provided by or under arrangements with the Primary Care Trust, and

(c)representing to persons and bodies which exercise functions in relation to the area of the Primary Care Trust (including, in particular, any relevant overview and scrutiny committee) the views of members of the public in the Primary Care Trust’s area about matters affecting their health.

(2)In subsection (1), references to services have the meaning given by section 237(8).

(3)It is also the function of a PCT Patients' Forum—

(a)to promote the involvement of members of the public in the area of the Primary Care Trust in consultations or processes leading (or potentially leading) to decisions by those mentioned in subsection (4), or the formulation of policies by them, which would or might affect (whether directly or not) the health of those members of the public,

(b)to make available advice and information to such members of the public about such involvement,

(c)to advise those mentioned in subsection (4) about how to encourage such involvement (including, in the case of bodies mentioned in subsection (4) to which section 242 applies, advising them how to comply with the requirements of that section in relation to the area of the Primary Care Trust), and

(d)to monitor how successful those mentioned in subsection (4) are at achieving such involvement.

(4)Those referred to in subsection (3) are—

(a)Strategic Health Authorities whose areas include any part of the area of the Primary Care Trust,

(b)the Primary Care Trust itself,

(c)NHS trusts which provide services to patients in the area of the Primary Care Trust,

(d)other public bodies, and

(e)others providing services to the public or a section of the public.

(5)In this section—

  • “carer” and “patient” have the meaning given by section 237,

  • “independent advocacy services” means services provided under section 248,

  • “relevant overview and scrutiny committee” has the meaning given by section 237.

239Entry and inspection of premises

(1)The Secretary of State may make regulations requiring—

(a)Strategic Health Authorities,

(b)Primary Care Trusts,

(c)NHS trusts,

(d)NHS foundation trusts,

(e)Local Health Boards,

(f)local authorities,

(g)persons providing primary medical services, primary dental services, or pharmaceutical services under this Act or the National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006 (c. 42),

(h)persons providing primary ophthalmic services under this Act,

(i)persons providing general ophthalmic services under the National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006, or

(j)persons providing piloted services (within the meaning of section 134(7) of this Act or section 92(7) of the National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006) or LP services (within the meaning of paragraph 1(7) of Schedule 12 to this Act or paragraph 1(7) of Schedule 7 to that Act),

to allow members of a Patients' Forum authorised by or under the regulations to enter and inspect, for the purposes of any of the Forum’s functions, premises owned or controlled by those referred to in paragraphs (a) to (j).

(2)The Secretary of State may also make regulations requiring any other person who owns or controls premises where services are provided as mentioned in subsection (1)(g) to (j) to allow members of a Patients' Forum authorised by or under the regulations to enter and inspect the premises for the purposes of any of the Forum’s functions.

(3)The regulations may in particular make provision as to—

(a)cases and circumstances in which access must be permitted,

(b)limitations or conditions to which access must be subject.

240Annual reports

(1)Each Patients' Forum must—

(a)prepare a report in relation to its activities in each financial year, and

(b)as soon as possible after the end of each financial year, send a copy of its report for that year to the trust for which it is established, and to the persons mentioned in subsection (2).

(2)Those persons are—

(a)the Secretary of State,

(b)the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health,

(c)each Strategic Health Authority whose area includes—

(i)any part of the area of the Primary Care Trust for which the Forum is established, or

(ii)all or most of the hospitals, establishments and facilities of the NHS trust or NHS foundation trust for which the Forum is established,

(d)any relevant overview and scrutiny committee within the meaning given by section 237,

(e)where the report includes provision which relates to any NHS foundation trust, the regulator.

(3)A report under this section relating to any year must include details of the arrangements maintained by the Forum in that year for obtaining the views of patients.

(4)In this section, “financial year”, in relation to a Patients' Forum, means—

(a)the period beginning with the date on which the Forum is established and ending with the next 31st March, and

(b)each successive period of 12 months ending with 31st March.

241Further provision about Patients' Forums

(1)The Secretary of State may by regulations make further provision in relation to Patients' Forums.

(2)The regulations may in particular make provision as to—

(a)the appointment of members,

(b)any qualification or disqualification for membership,

(c)terms of appointment,

(d)circumstances in which a person ceases to be a member or may be suspended,

(e)the proceedings of Patients' Forums,

(f)the discharge of any function of a Patients' Forum by a committee of the Forum or by a joint committee appointed with another Forum,

(g)the appointment, as members of a committee or joint committee, of persons who are not members of the Forum or Forums concerned,

(h)the funding of Patients' Forums and the provision of premises, other facilities and staff,

(i)the payment of travelling and other allowances to members of a Patients' Forum or of a committee of a Forum or a joint committee of two or more Forums (including attendance allowances or compensation for loss of remunerative time),

(j)the preparation by a Patients' Forum of annual accounts, and their inclusion in accounts of the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health,

(k)the provision of information (including descriptions of information which must or must not be provided) to a Patients' Forum by a Strategic Health Authority, a Primary Care Trust, an NHS trust, an NHS foundation trust, the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health or a person providing independent advocacy services (within the meaning given by section 248),

(l)the provision of information by a Patients' Forum to another person (including another Forum),

(m)the referral of matters by a Patients' Forum to a relevant overview and scrutiny committee (within the meaning given by section 237),

(n)the preparation and publication of reports by Patients' Forums including the publication of reports under section 240,

(o)matters to be included in any such report,

(p)the furnishing and publication by Strategic Health Authorities, Primary Care Trusts, NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts of comments on reports or recommendations of Patients' Forums.

(3)The regulations must secure that the members of a Patients' Forum include—

(a)at least one person who is a member or representative of a voluntary organisation whose purpose, or one of whose purposes, is to represent the interests of—

(i)persons for whom services are being provided under this Act, or

(ii)persons who provide care for such persons, but who are not employed to do so by any body in the exercise of its functions under any enactment, and

(b)at least one person for whom services are being or have been provided by the trust for which the Patients' Forum is established.

(4)The regulations must also secure that the members of a Patients' Forum established for a Primary Care Trust also include—

(a)at least one member of the Patients' Forum established for each NHS trust or NHS foundation trust all or most of whose hospitals, establishments and facilities are situated in the area of the Primary Care Trust, and

(b)if it appears to the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health that there is a body which represents members of the public in the Primary Care Trust’s area in matters relating to their health, at least one person who is a member or representative of that body (or, if there is more than one such body, of any of those bodies).

(5)The regulations may include provision applying, or corresponding to, any provision of Part 5A of the Local Government Act 1972 (c 70) (access to meetings and documents), with or without modifications.

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