Health Services Act 1976

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1976 c. 83


Health Services Act 1976

1976 CHAPTER 83

An Act to make further provision with respect to the use or acquisition by private patients and others of facilities and supplies available under the National Health Service Acts 1946 to 1973 or the National Health Service (Scotland) Acts 1947 to 1973; to control hospital building outside the National Health Service and provide for the amendment of enactments under which registration is a prerequisite for carrying on a nursing home or private hospital; and for those purposes to establish a Health Services Board.

[22nd November 1976]

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:—

I The Health Services Board and its Committees

Part I

The Health Services Board and its Committees

S-1 The Health Services Board and its committees.

1 The Health Services Board and its committees.

(1) There shall be a body, to be called the Health Services Board (in this Act referred to as ‘the Board’), which shall have the functions assigned to it by this Act.

(2) The Board shall consist of five members appointed by the Secretary of State in accordance with Part I of Schedule 1 to this Act.

(3) Without prejudice to the power of the Board to set up any other committees, there shall be constituted in accordance with Part II of the said Schedule 1—

(a ) a Scottish Committee of the Board (‘the Scottish Committee’) having the general duty of advising the Board on the performance of its functions in relation to matters affecting Scotland; and

(b ) a Welsh Committee of the Board (‘the Welsh Committee’) having the general duty of advising the Board on the performance of its functions in relation to matters affecting Wales.

(4) At any meeting of the Board or of the Scottish or Welsh Committee for the purpose of considering or dealing with any application for an authorisation under section 12 below or any proposed alteration of the terms of any such authorisation, the Board or Committee shall be assisted by four assessors selected in accordance with Part III of the said Schedule 1.

(5) In deciding how to perform any of its functions in relation to any matter affecting Scotland or Wales the Board shall obtain and consider the advice of the Scottish Committee or the Welsh Committee, as the case may be.

(6) The supplementary provisions contained in Parts IV to VI of the said Schedule 1 shall have effect with respect to the Board and its committees and assessors.

II Use of National Health Service Facilities by Private Patients, etc.

Part II

Patients, etc.Use of National Health Service Facilities by Private

Withdrawal of NHS pay beds and services from private patients

Withdrawal of NHS pay beds and services from private patients

S-2 Purpose of ss. 3 to 5.

2 Purpose of ss. 3 to 5.

(1) Sections 3 to 5 below shall have effect for the purpose of—

(a ) securing the separation of the facilities available in Great Britain for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of illness under private arrangements from the facilities available for those purposes at premises vested in the Secretary of State; and

(b ) to that end securing the progressive withdrawal of accommodation and services at NHS hospitals from use in connection with the treatment of persons at such hospitals as resident or non-resident private patients.

(2) Nothing in this Act shall prejudice the operation of paragraph 10(5) of Schedule 1 to the National Health Service Reorganisation Act 1973 or paragraph 10 of Part I of Schedule 1 to the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1972 (by virtue of which regulations governing the terms of employment of officers employed by an authority within the meaning of the said paragraph 10(5) or, in Scotland, by a Health Board must not contain a requirement that all consultants so employed shall be so employed whole-time).

S-3 Immediate duty of Secretary of State as regards withdrawal of NHS beds from resident private patients.

3 Immediate duty of Secretary of State as regards withdrawal of NHS beds from resident private patients.

(1) Within six months after the passing of this Act the Secretary of State shall reduce by one thousand the total number of beds authorised under section 1(1) of the 1968 Act to be made available to resident private patients.

(2) That overall reduction shall be effected by reducing, in the case of each authority, and the group of preserved Boards, mentioned in column 1 of Schedule 2 to this Act, the number of beds at NHS hospitals administered by that authority, or by Boards within that group, which were so authorised at the passing of this Act (being the number stated for that authority or group in column 2 of that Schedule) by the number specified for that authority or group in column 3 of that Schedule.

(3) The Area Health Authorities and Health Boards, and the group of preserved Boards, mentioned in the said Schedule 2, and the numbers specified for them respectively in column 3 of that Schedule, are those the mention and specification of which will best secure that the overall reduction required by subsection (1) above is effected with due regard to the following matters, namely—

(a ) the extent to which the accommodation and services authorised under section 1 of the 1968 Act at each of the NHS hospitals in Great Britain were, in the period of two years which ended on the relevant date, used in connection with the treatment of resident private patients; and

(b ) the extent to which, in the case of each NHS hospital in Great Britain, alternative accommodation and facilities for the private practice of medicine and dentistry are reasonably available (whether privately or at NHS hospitals) in the area served by that hospital.

(4) The Secretary of State shall so far as is practicable ensure that the beds released by the reduction made under this section are made available for the use of patients other than private patients.

(5) In subsection (3) above ‘the relevant date’ means—

(a ) in relation to an NHS hospital in England or Wales, 31st December 1973;

(b ) in relation to an NHS hospital in Scotland, 31st March 1974.

S-4 Functions of Board as regards withdrawal of NHS facilities from private patients.

4 Functions of Board as regards withdrawal of NHS facilities from private patients.

(1) It shall be the duty of the Board to submit to the Secretary of State from time to time in accordance with this section proposals for the progressive revocation of—

(a ) the authorisations under section 1(1) of the 1968 Act (use of accommodation and services at NHS hospitals for resident private patients) which are in force at the end of the initial period or are by virtue of section 5(4) below granted thereafter; and

(b ) the authorisations under section 2(1) of that Act (use of such accommodation and services for non-resident private patients) which are in force at the passing of this Act or are by virtue of section 5(4) below granted thereafter;

and it shall be the duty of the Secretary of State to give effect to all proposals so submitted.

(2) The Board—

(a ) shall submit its first proposals under this section within the initial period or such longer period as the Secretary of State may allow; and

(b ) shall in the six months beginning with the date on which the first proposals are submitted, and in each successive period of six months thereafter, submit further proposals under this section or, if in all the circumstances it decides that the submission of further proposals in any particular period of six months is unnecessary, shall instead prepare and submit to the Secretary of State a report explaining the Board's reasons for that decision.

(3) In formulating proposals under this section the Board shall—

(a ) have regard to the principles set out in subsection (8) below; and

(b ) consider any representations made to the Board by—

(i) the Secretary of State;

(ii) any body which is representative of medical practitioners or dental practitioners or of persons employed in one or other of the national health services or concerned with the interests of patients at NHS hospitals;

(iii) any other person having a substantial interest in the proposals;

and in deciding what advice to give the Board in connection with the formulation of any such proposals the Scottish Committee and the Welsh Committee shall likewise have regard to the principles set out in the said subsection (8) and shall consider any representations made to the Committee by any of the persons or bodies above mentioned.

(4) Without prejudice to subsection (3) above, the Board in formulating proposals under this section for the revocation of authorisations given under section 2(1) of the 1968 Act in respect of accommodation or services at any particular NHS hospital or hospitals, and the Scottish or Welsh Committee in deciding what advice to give the Board in connection with the formulation of any such proposals—

(a ) shall have regard to the purposes and specialties for which the accommodation or services in question are available for use in connection with the treatment of non-resident private patients; and

(b ) shall apply the principles set out in subsection (8) below separately in respect of different purposes and specialties;

and the Board may formulate separate proposals in respect of different purposes or specialties accordingly.

(5) As regards the revocation of authorisations under section 2(1) of the 1968 Act, any proposals under this section relating to—

(a ) accommodation available to consultants for the purpose of affording consultations to their private patients, or

(b ) accommodation and services available for the following specialties, namely radiotherapy, diagnostic...

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