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Healthcare Services Bill [H.L.]
 
 

 
 
A

B I L L

TO

Regulate the provision of certain healthcare services outside the National Health Service.

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:-
 

 
The Private Healthcare Regulatory Authority
The Private Healthcare Regulatory Authority.     1. - (1) There shall be a body to be called the Private Healthcare Regulatory Authority (referred to in this Act as "the Authority") for the purpose of carrying out the functions conferred on it by or under this Act.
 
      (2) The Authority shall consist of-
 
 
    (a) a chairman and deputy chairman, and
 
    (b) not less than eight or more than twelve other members,
  appointed by the Secretary of State.
 
      (3) Before appointing the members of the Authority the Secretary of State shall consult the National Assembly for Wales.
 
      (4) Before appointing a person as chairman, deputy chairman or member of the Authority, the Secretary of State shall-
 
 
    (a) have regard to the desirability of securing that a variety of skills and experience is available among the members of the Authority (including experience in matters related to healthcare and the interests of patients in regard to healthcare); and
 
    (b) consider whether any person it is proposed to appoint has any financial or other interest which is likely to prejudice the exercise of his duties.
      (5) The expenses of the Authority shall be paid by the Secretary of State.
 
      (6) The Schedule to this Act (constitution etc. of the Authority) has effect.
 
Appointment of chief executive and directors.     2. - (1) A chief executive shall be appointed for the Authority.
 
      (2) The chief executive shall be responsible for (among other things) securing that the activities of the Authority are carried out efficiently and effectively.
 
      (3) The first appointment under subsection (1) shall be made by the Secretary of State; and subsequent appointments shall be made by the Authority, subject to the approval of the Secretary of State.
 
      (4) A Director shall be appointed for Wales who shall be responsible under the chief executive for (among other things) securing that the activities of the Authority in Wales are carried out efficiently and effectively.
 
      (5) The first appointment under subsection (4) shall be made by the Secretary of State, subject to the approval of the National Assembly for Wales; and subsequent appointments shall be made by the Authority, subject to the approval of the Assembly.
 
      (6) The chief executive and the director appointed under subsection (4) shall hold and vacate office in accordance with the terms of their appointments.
 
Annual and other reports.     3. - (1) The Authority shall prepare a report on its activities and performance during each financial year.
 
      (2) The Authority shall, as soon as possible after the end of each financial year, lay its report for that year before Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales.
 
      (3) The Authority may from time to time lay other reports before Parliament or the Assembly.
 
 
General functions
General functions of the Authority.     4. - (1) The Authority shall exercise its powers so as to ensure, so far as is practicable, that where healthcare services are provided they are performed to a standard which is at least equivalent to the same services provided by or on behalf of the Secretary of State under the National Health Service Act 1977.
 
      (2) In this section "healthcare services" means-
 
 
    (a) any services for the reception and treatment of persons suffering from illness,
 
    (b) any services for the reception and treatment of pregnant women, including services for the termination of pregnancy,
 
    (c) any services for the reception and treatment of persons during convalescence or medical rehabilitation,
 
    (d) any other services involving medical or surgical treatment and the reception of persons undergoing such treatment,
  but does not include-
 
 
    (i) any services provided by or on behalf of the Secretary of State under the National Health Service Act 1977, or
 
    (ii) any services provided at premises referred to in section 21(3)(b), (c), (d), (f) or (g) of the Registered Homes Act 1984.
 
Licensing of premises
Offence of admitting patients to unlicensed premises.     5. - (1) Subject to subsection (2), if persons are admitted as patients, or are permitted to remain as patients, in any premises providing healthcare services without a licence to admit patients being in force, any responsible person commits an offence.
 
      (2) Where a person is charged with an offence under this section it shall be a defence to prove either that the patients were admitted in an emergency or-
 
 
    (a) that the patients were admitted without his consent; and
 
    (b) that he took all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to avoid the commission of such an offence.
      (3) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable-
 
 
    (a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum; or
 
    (b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or to both.
Licences to admit patients: general.     6. - (1) The Authority may, on an application duly made by a responsible person, grant a licence to admit patients to any premises providing healthcare services for the purpose of undergoing any specified treatment at those premises.
 
      (2) An application for a licence in respect of any premises shall be made in such manner, in such form and accompanied by such fee as may be determined by the Secretary of State.
 
      (3) The Authority shall not refuse to grant a licence without-
 
 
    (a) notifying the applicant in writing of supposed refusal and of the grounds for it;
 
    (b) giving him an opportunity to make representations about them within the period of 28 days beginning with the service of the notice; and
 
    (c) taking any representations so made into account in making its decision.
      (4) A licence to admit patients to any premises may authorise the admission of patients to undergo all specified treatments or specified descriptions of such treatments or a particular such treatment.
 
      (5) A licence to admit patients shall be in writing and shall be granted on such terms and conditions (including conditions as to numbers of patients) as the Authority considers appropriate.
 
      (6) It shall be a condition of every licence that any authorised person shall be entitled, on production, if so required, of his authority-
 
 
    (a) to enter at any time any premises on which a specified treatment is being carried out or is to be carried out; and
 
    (b) to make such inspection of the premises and any documents kept on the premises, and such inquiries relating to them, as he considers necessary for the purposes of this Act.
      (7) A licence to admit patients shall, unless revoked or suspended under section 7 or surrendered, remain in force for a specified period.
 
      (8) Subject to subsection (9), the Authority may at any time, by notice in writing to the licence holder, vary the terms and conditions of the licence.
 
      (9) The Authority shall not vary the terms or conditions of a licence without-
 
 
    (a) notifying the licence holder in writing of the proposed alterations or additions;
 
    (b) giving him an opportunity to make representations about them within the period of 21 days beginning with the service of the notice; and
 
    (c) taking any representations so made into account in making the decision.
      (10) In taking any decision under this section the Authority shall have regard, among the other relevant circumstances, to the following matters or to such of them as are applicable to the decision, that is to say-
 
 
    (a) whether the facilities and equipment provided, procedures used and other arrangements in force at the premises are such as are reasonably required to ensure that the treatment is provided in accordance with specified standards;
 
    (b) whether, in accordance with specified standards, there are arrangements for dealing with complaints made by or on behalf of persons who are or have been patients on the premises, and whether such arrangements are publicised;
 
    (c) whether any person employed on the premises is subject to any order or direction-
 
      (i) issued by any professional regulatory body, or
 
      (ii) prohibiting him from being employed within the National Health Service; and
 
    (d) such other considerations as the Secretary of State determines from time to time and notifies to the Authority.
      (11) Subject to subsection (12), if any term or condition of a licence is contravened any responsible person commits an offence.
 
      (12) Where a person is charged with an offence under subsection (11) it shall be a defence to prove-
 
 
    (a) that the contravention took place without his consent; and
 
    (b) that he took all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to avoid the commission of such an offence.
      (13) A person guilty of an offence under subsection (11) shall be liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.
 
      (14) The fees charged on the issue of licences-
 
 
    (a) may be fixed so as to reimburse the Authority their expenses under this Act; and
 
    (b) shall be paid by the Authority to the Secretary of State.
      (15) In this section-
 
 
    "authorised person" means any person authorised by the Secretary of State or the Authority;
 
    "code of practice" means the code of practice issued under section 9;
 
    "professional regulatory body" means a body regulating a profession to which section 60 of the Health Act 1999 applies;
 
    "specified" means specified in regulations made by the Secretary of State or, in the case of subsection (10), in the code of practice;
 
    "vary", in relation to a licence, includes the addition of further terms or conditions.
      (16) The power to make regulations under this section is exercisable by statutory instrument which shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
 
 
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