National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1947

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1947 c. 27


National Health Service (Scotland) Act , 1947.

(10 & 11 Geo. 6.) CHAPTER 27.

An Act to provide for the establishment of a comprehensive health service for Scotland, and for purposes connected therewith.

[21st May 1947]

Be it enacted by the King'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 Central Administration.

Part I.

Central Administration.

S-1 Duty of Secretary of State.

1 Duty of Secretary of State.

(1) It shall be the duty of the Secretary of State to promote the establishment in Scotland of a comprehensive health service designed to secure improvement in the physical and mental health of the people of Scotland and the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of illness, and for that purpose to provide or secure the effective provision of services in accordance with the following provisions of this Act.

(2) The services so provided shall be free of charge, except where any provision of this Act expressly provides for the making and recovery of charges.

S-2 Scottish Health Services Council and Standing Advisory Committees.

2 Scottish Health Services Council and Standing Advisory Committees.

(1) There shall be constituted in accordance with the First Schedule to this Act a council, to be called the Scottish Health Services Council and hereafter in this Act referred to as ‘the Health Services Council’, and it shall be the duty of that Council to advise the Secretary of State upon such general matters relating to the services provided or which could be provided under this Act or any health services provided or which could be provided by local health authorities or by education authorities as the Council think fit and upon any questions referred to them by him relating to those services.

(2) The Secretary of State may, after consultation with the Health Services Council, by order vary the constitution of that Council.

(3) The Secretary of State may, after consultation with the Health Services Council, by order constitute standing advisory committees for the purpose of advising him and the Health Services Council on such of the services aforesaid as may be specified in the order, and any committee constituted under this subsection shall consist partly of members of the Health Services Council appointed by that Council as being persons of experience in those services and partly of persons, whether members of the Health Services Council or not, appointed by the Secretary of State after consultation with such representative organisations as the Secretary of State may recognise for the purpose.

(4) It shall be the duty of a standing advisory committee constituted under this section to advise the Secretary of State and the Health Services Council upon such matters relating to the services with which the committee are concerned as they think fit and upon any questions referred to them by the Secretary of State or Health Services Council relating to those services, and, if the committee advise the Secretary of State upon any matter, they shall inform the Health Services Council, who may express their views thereon to the Secretary of State.

(5) The Health Services Council shall make an annual report to the Secretary of State on their proceedings and on the proceedings of any standing advisory committee constituted under this section, and the Secretary of State shall lay that report before Parliament with such comments (if any) as he thinks fit:

Provided that, if the Secretary of State, after consultation with the Health Services Council, is satisfied that it would be contrary to the public interest to lay any such report, or a part of any such report, before Parliament, he may refrain from laying that report or part.

(6) The supplementary provisions contained in the First Schedule to this Act shall have effect in relation to the Health Services Council and any standing advisory committee constituted under this section.

II Services provided by the Secretary of State.

Part II.

Services provided by the Secretary of State.

Hospital and Specialist Services.

Hospital and Specialist Services.

S-3 Provision of hospital and specialist services.

3 Provision of hospital and specialist services.

(1) As from the appointed day, it shall be the duty of the Secretary of State to provide throughout Scotland, to such extent as he considers necessary to meet all reasonable requirements, accommodation and services of the following descriptions, that is to say:—

(a ) hospital accommodation;

(b ) medical, nursing and other services required at or for the purposes of hospitals;

(c ) the services of specialists, whether at a hospital, a health centre provided under this Part of this Act, a clinic or, if necessary on medical grounds, the home of the patient or elsewhere;

and any accommodation and services provided under this section are in this Act referred to as ‘hospital and specialist services’.

(2) It shall be the duty of the Secretary of State, in providing hospital and specialist services, to make available such facilities for undergraduate and post-graduate clinical teaching and research as he considers necessary to meet all reasonable requirements.

(3) Regulations may provide for the making and recovery by the Secretary of State of charges in respect of:—

(a ) the supply, as part of the hospital and specialist services, of any appliance which is, at the request of the person supplied, of a more expensive type than the type which would normally be supplied, or the replacement or repair of any such appliance; or

(b ) the replacement or repair of any appliance supplied as part of the services aforesaid, if it is determined in the prescribed manner that the replacement or repair is necessitated by lack of care on the part of the person supplied.

(4) Regulations may provide for the payment by the Secretary of State, in such cases as may be prescribed, of travelling expenses (including the travelling expenses of a companion) incurred or to be incurred by persons for the purpose of availing themselves of hospital and specialist services.

S-4 Accommodation available on part payment.

4 Accommodation available on part payment.

4. Where there is provided in any hospital, as part of the hospital and specialist services, accommodation in single rooms or small wards, the Secretary of State may make any such accommodation which is not for the time being needed by any patient on medical grounds, available for patients who undertake, or in respect of whom an undertaking is given, to pay for the accommodation such charges, designed to cover part of the cost thereof, as may be determined in the prescribed manner, and the Secretary of State may recover those charges.

S-5 Accommodation for private patients.

5 Accommodation for private patients.

(1) If the Secretary of State, having regard to his duty to provide hospital and specialist services, is satisfied that it is reasonable so to do, he may set aside in any hospital vested in him and providing such services special accommodation for patients who undertake, or in respect of whom an undertaking is given, to pay such charges as may be determined in the prescribed manner, being charges designed to cover the whole cost so far as falling to be defrayed out of moneys provided by Parliament of the accommodation and services provided for the patient at the hospital, including an appropriate amount in respect of overhead expenses, and the Secretary of State may recover those charges:

Provided that no accommodation shall be so set aside unless there will remain available, as part of the hospital and specialist services, for other patients at least as much accommodation as was immediately before the appointed day available free of charge or at hospitals vested in local authorities, being accommodation which became part of the hospital and specialist services on that day:

Provided also that nothing in this section shall prevent accommodation so set aside from being made available for any patient who urgently needs that accommodation on medical grounds and for whom suitable accommodation is not otherwise available.

(2) The Secretary of State may allow any medical practitioner serving, whether in an honorary or paid capacity, on the staff of a hospital vested in the Secretary of State and providing hospital and specialist services to make arrangements for the treatment of the private patients of such medical practitioner either at that hospital or at any other such hospital, and may make available for that purpose the special accommodation aforesaid, and in that case the charges under the last foregoing subsection shall not include the cost of any services rendered by the medical practitioner, and regulations may provide for determining the maximum charges to be made and recovered by any such medical practitioner in respect of the treatment of his private patients under this subsection.

Transfer of hospitals to the Secretary of State.

Transfer of hospitals to the Secretary of State.

S-6 Transfer of hospitals to the Secretary of State.

6 Transfer of hospitals to the Secretary of State.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, there shall, on the appointed day, be transferred to and vest in the Secretary of State for Scotland by virtue of this Act all interests in or attaching to premises forming part of a voluntary hospital or used for the purposes of a voluntary hospital, and in equipment, furniture or other corporeal moveable property used in or in connection with such premises, being interests held immediately before the appointed day by the governing body of the hospital or by trustees solely...

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