National Health Service Act 2006

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation2006 c. 41


National Health Service Act 2006

2006 Chapter 41

An Act to consolidate certain enactments relating to the health service.

[8th November 2006]

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:—

1 Promotion and provision of the health service in England

Part 1

Promotion and provision of the health service in England

The Secretary of State and the health service in England

The Secretary of State and the health service in England

S-1 Secretary of State's duty to promote health service

1 Secretary of State's duty to promote health service

(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 services

General power to provide services

S-2 Secretary of State's general power

2 Secretary of State's general power

(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 services

Provision of particular services

S-3 Secretary of State's duty as to provision of certain services

3 Secretary of State's duty as to provision of certain services

(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).

S-4 High security psychiatric services

4 High security psychiatric services

(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.

S-5 Other services

5 Other services

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

Provision of services otherwise than in England

Provision of services otherwise than in England

S-6 Performance of functions outside England

6 Performance of functions outside England

(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 functions

Exercise and distribution of functions

S-7 Distribution of health service functions

7 Distribution of health service functions

(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.

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