Health Service Commissioners Act 1993

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1993 c. 46


Health ServiceCommissioners Act 1993

1993 CHAPTER 46

An Act to consolidate the enactments relating to the Health Service Commissioners for England, for Wales and for Scotland with amendments to give effect to recommendations of the Law Commission and the Scottish Law Commission.

[5th November 1993]

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:—

Health Service Commissioners

Health Service Commissioners

S-1 The Commissioners.

1 The Commissioners.

(1) For the purpose of conducting investigations in accordance with this Act, there shall continue to be—

(a) a Health Service Commissioner for England,

(b) a Health Service Commissioner for Wales, and

(c) a Health Service Commissioner for Scotland.

(2) References in this Act to a Commissioner (or Health Service Commissioner) are, unless the context otherwise requires, to any of the Commissioners.

(3) Schedule 1 has effect with respect to the appointment and remuneration of the Commissioners and other administrative matters.

Health service bodies subject to investigation

Health service bodies subject to investigation

S-2 The bodies subject to investigation.

2 The bodies subject to investigation.

(1) The bodies subject to investigation by the Health Service Commissioner for England are—

(a) Regional Health Authorities,

(b) District Health Authorities whose district is in England,

(c) Special Health Authorities to which this section applies exercising functions only or mainly in England,

(d) National Health Service trusts managing a hospital, or other establishment or facility, in England,

(e) Family Health Services Authorities whose locality is in England,

(f) the Dental Practice Board, and

(g) the Public Health Laboratory Service Board.

(2) The bodies subject to investigation by the Health Service Commissioner for Wales are—

(a) District Health Authorities whose district is in Wales,

(b) Special Health Authorities to which this section applies exercising functions only or mainly in Wales,

(c) National Health Service trusts managing a hospital, or other establishment or facility, in Wales, and

(d) Family Health Services Authorities whose locality is in Wales.

(3) The bodies subject to investigation by the Health Service Commissioner for Scotland are—

(a) Health Boards,

(b) National Health Service trusts established under section 12A of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978 ,

(c) the Common Services Agency for the Scottish Health Service, and

(d) the Scottish Dental Practice Board.

(4) References in this Act to a ‘health service body’are to any of the bodies mentioned above.

(5) The Special Health Authorities to which this section applies are those—

(a) established on or before 1st April 1974, or

(b) established after that date and designated by Order in Council as ones to which this section applies.

(6) A statutory instrument containing an Order in Council made by virtue of subsection (5)(b) shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

Matters subject to investigation

Matters subject to investigation

S-3 General remit of Commissioners.

3 General remit of Commissioners.

(1) On a complaint duly made to a Commissioner by or on behalf of a person that he has sustained injustice or hardship in consequence of—

(a) a failure in a service provided by a health service body,

(b) a failure of such a body to provide a service which it was a function of the body to provide, or

(c) maladministration connected with any other action taken by or on behalf of such a body,

the Commissioner may, subject to the provisions of this Act, investigate the alleged failure or other action.

(2) In determining whether to initiate, continue or discontinue an investigation under this Act, a Commissioner shall act in accordance with his own discretion.

(3) Any question whether a complaint is duly made to a Commissioner shall be determined by him.

(4) Nothing in this Act authorises or requires a Commissioner to question the merits of a decision taken without maladministration by a health service body in the exercise of a discretion vested in that body.

Matters excluded from investigation

Matters excluded from investigation

S-4 Availability of other remedy.

4 Availability of other remedy.

(1) A Commissioner shall not conduct an investigation in respect of action in relation to which the person aggrieved has or had—

(a) a right of appeal, reference or review to or before a tribunal constituted by or under any enactment or by virtue of Her Majesty's prerogative, or

(b) a remedy by way of proceedings in any court of law,

unless the Commissioner is satisfied that in the particular circumstances it is not reasonable to expect that person to resort or have resorted to it.

(2) A Commissioner shall not conduct an investigation in respect of action which has been, or is, the subject of an inquiry under section 84 of the National Health Service Act 1977 or section 76 of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978 (general powers to hold inquiries).

(3) A Commissioner shall not conduct an investigation in respect of action in relation to which the protective functions of the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland have been, are being or may be exercised under the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 1984 .

S-5 Exercise of clinical judgment.

5 Exercise of clinical judgment.

(1) A Commissioner shall not conduct an investigation in respect of action taken in connection with—

(a) the diagnosis of illness, or

(b) the care or treatment of a patient,

which, in the opinion of the Commissioner, was taken solely in consequence of the exercise of clinical judgment, whether formed by the person taking the action or any other person.

(2) In subsection (1), ‘illness’includes a mental disorder within the meaning of the Mental Health Act 1983 or the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 1984 and any injury or disability requiring medical or dental treatment or nursing.

S-6 General health services and service committees.

6 General health services and service committees.

(1) A Commissioner shall not conduct an investigation in respect of action taken in connection with any general medical services, general dental services, general ophthalmic services or pharmaceutical services under the National Health Service Act 1977 by a person providing those services.

(2) A...

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