Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Seventeenth Report


APPENDIX V

First Memorandum by the Department of Health

NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE (LIABILITIES TO THIRD PARTIES SCHEME) REGULATIONS 1999 (S.I. 1999/873)

NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE (PROPERTY EXPENSES SCHEME) REGULATIONS 1999 (S.I. 1999/874)

  1. This Memorandum is provided because the Regulations to which it relates are to be brought into force in breach of the "21 day rule".

  2. The Regulations make provision whereby NHS trusts and certain other health service bodies may participate in a scheme for meeting certain liabilities to third parties, e.g. occupiers liability. Other similar schemes already exist under the National Health Service (Clinical Negligence Scheme) Regulations 1996 and the National Health Service (Existing Liabilities Scheme) Regulations 1996. A further new scheme, established by the National Health Service (Property Expenses Scheme) Regulations 1999, will provide cover against loss or damage to property.

  3. The reason for the breach of the "21 day rule" is to ensure commencement of both new resulting from insurance cover with commercial providers ending on 31 March.

  4. The Department regrets that delays in the drafting of the scheme have resulted in the regulations being made later than anticipated and offers its apologies.

18th March 1999



Second Memorandum by the Department of Health

NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE (LIABILITIES TO THIRD PARTIES SCHEME) REGULATIONS 1999 (S.I. 1999/873)

NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE (PROPERTY EXPENSES SCHEME) REGULATIONS 1999 (S.I. 1999/874)

  1. The Committee has requested a memorandum on the following point:

    The Department's memoranda of 18 March 1999 stated that delays in the drafting of the schemes have resulted in the Regulations being made later than expected. Elaborate upon this justification for breaching the 21 days rule, and in particular explain why the Regulations could not have been drafted earlier so that they could have been made and laid without breaching that rule.

  2. Work began on both sets of regulations at the end of December 1998. Whilst it was appreciated that there was a great deal to be resolved and drafted if the regulations were to come into force at the beginning of April 1999 the view was taken that the target was attainable.

  3. The project involved the use of external advisers. By the time the Regulations should have been laid, despite considerable efforts, the precise contents and wording of the Regulations had not been settled as between the Department, the external advisers and the Special Health Authority responsible for running the Schemes. The implementation date could not be delayed as that would have created a gap resulting from insurance coverage with commercial providers having been terminated on 31 March 1999 by the majority of NHS Trusts as a result of guidance about the introduction of the two new Schemes issued by the Department in January 1999.

23 April 1999


 
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