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National Health Service Act 2006

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Prohibition, and certificate of the Secretary of State

1(1)Any person who sells or buys the goodwill of a medical practice which it is unlawful to sell by virtue of section 259 is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding—

(a)such amount as will in the court’s opinion secure that he derives no benefit from the offence, and

(b)the further amount of £500,

or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months, or both.

(2)Any person proposing to be a party to a transaction or series of transactions which he considers might amount to a sale of the goodwill of a medical practice in contravention of section 259 may ask the Secretary of State for a certificate under this paragraph.

(3)The Secretary of State must—

(a)consider any such application, and

(b)if he is satisfied that the transaction or series of transactions does not involve the giving of valuable consideration in respect of the goodwill of such a medical practice, issue to the applicant a certificate to that effect.

(4)The certificate must—

(a)be in the prescribed form, and

(b)set out all material circumstances disclosed to the Secretary of State.

(5)Where any person is charged with an offence under this paragraph in respect of any transaction or series of transactions, it is a defence to prove that the transaction or series of transactions was certified by the Secretary of State under sub-paragraph (3).

(6)Any document purporting to be such a certificate is admissible in evidence and is deemed to be such a certificate unless the contrary is proved.

(7)The court may disregard such a certificate if it appears to the court that the applicant for the certificate—

(a)failed to disclose to the Secretary of State all the material circumstances, or

(b)made any misrepresentation with respect to the material circumstances.

(8)A prosecution for an offence under this paragraph may be instituted only by or with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions, and the Secretary of State must, at the request of the Director, furnish him with—

(a)a copy of any certificate issued by the Secretary of State under sub-paragraph (3), and

(b)copies of any documents produced to him in connection with the application for that certificate.

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