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Session 1998-99
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Arrangement of Clauses (Contents)

Road Traffic (NHS Charges) Bill
 
 

 
 
A

B I L L

[AS AMENDED ON REPORT]

TO

Make provision about the recovery from insurers and certain other persons of charges in connection with the treatment of road traffic casualties in national health service, and certain other, hospitals; and for connected purposes.

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:-
 

 
Payment for hospital treatment
Payment for hospital treatment of traffic casualties.     1. - (1) This section applies if-
 
 
    (a) a person ("the traffic casualty") has suffered injury, or has suffered injury and died, as a result of the use of a motor vehicle on a road;
 
    (b) a compensation payment is made in respect of that injury or death; and
 
    (c) the traffic casualty has received NHS treatment at a health service hospital in respect of his injury.
      (2) The person making the compensation payment is liable to pay the appropriate NHS charges to the Secretary of State in respect of the treatment.
 
      (3) "Compensation payment" means-
 
 
    (a) a payment made by an authorised insurer under, or in consequence of, a policy issued under section 145 of the Road Traffic Act 1988,
 
    (b) a payment made by the owner of the vehicle, in a case where the vehicle is one in relation to the use of which a security under Part VI of that Act is in force,
 
    (c) a payment made by the owner of the vehicle who has made a deposit under that Part, or
 
    (d) a payment made in pursuance of a compensation scheme for motor accidents,
  but does not include a payment under section 158 of that Act.
 
      (4) A payment is a compensation payment whether or not it is made-
 
 
    (a) in the United Kingdom; or
 
    (b) voluntarily, or in pursuance of a court order or an agreement, or otherwise.
      (5) Regulations may provide that a payment of a prescribed description is not to count as a compensation payment, either generally or in such circumstances as may be prescribed.
 
      (6) "NHS treatment" means any treatment (including any examination of the traffic casualty), other than-
 
 
    (a) treatment provided by virtue of section 65 of the National Health Service Act 1977, section 57 of, or paragraph 14 of Schedule 7A to, the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978 or paragraph 14 of Schedule 2 to the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990 (accommodation and services for private patients); or
 
    (b) treatment provided at a health service hospital by virtue of section 72 of the Act of 1977 or section 64 of the Act of 1978 (permission for use of national health service accommodation or facilities in private practice).
      (7) "The appropriate NHS charges" means the amount or amounts specified in a certificate of NHS charges-
 
 
    (a) issued under section 2, in respect of the traffic casualty, to the person making the compensation payment; and
 
    (b) in force.
      (8) This section applies in relation to any compensation payment made after the date on which this section comes into force but not to one payable under a court order, or agreement, made before that date.
 
      (9) For the purposes of this Act, it is irrelevant whether a compensation payment is made with or without an admission of liability.
 
 
Certificates of NHS charges
Applications for certificates of NHS charges.     2. - (1) Before a person makes a compensation payment in respect of the injury or death of a traffic casualty, he may apply to the Secretary of State for a certificate under this section.
 
      (2) If the Secretary of State receives an application under subsection (1), he must arrange for a certificate to be issued as soon as is reasonably practicable.
 
      (3) Such a certificate is to be known as a "certificate of NHS charges" but is referred to generally in this Act as a "certificate".
 
      (4) A certificate may provide that it is to remain in force-
 
 
    (a) until a specified date;
 
    (b) until the occurrence of a specified event; or
 
    (c) indefinitely.
      (5) A person may apply under subsection (1) for a fresh certificate from time to time.
 
      (6) Subsection (2) does not require the Secretary of State to arrange for a fresh certificate to be issued to a person applying under subsection (5) if, when the application is received, a certificate issued to the applicant in respect of the casualty is still in force; but the Secretary of State may arrange for a fresh certificate to be issued so as to have effect on the expiry of the current certificate.
 
      (7) If a certificate expires, the Secretary of State may arrange for a fresh certificate to be issued without an application having to be made.
 
      (8) In the circumstances mentioned in subsection (9), a person who has made a compensation payment in respect of the injury or death of a traffic casualty must apply to the Secretary of State for a certificate.
 
      (9) The circumstances are that-
 
 
    (a) at the time the payment is made-
 
      (i) no certificate has been issued to him in respect of the casualty; or
 
      (ii) if such a certificate has been issued to him, it is no longer in force; and
 
    (b) no application for a certificate has been made by him during the prescribed period ending immediately before the day on which the compensation payment is made.
      (10) An application for a certificate must be made in the prescribed manner and, in the case of an application under subsection (8), within the prescribed period.
 
      (11) On receiving an application under subsection (8), the Secretary of State must arrange for a certificate to be issued as soon as is reasonably practicable.
 
      (12) The Secretary of State may arrange for certificates to be issued by electronic means.
 
Information contained in certificates.     3. - (1) A certificate must specify the amount or amounts for which the person to whom it is issued is liable under section 1(2).
 
      (2) The amount or amounts to be specified are to be those set out in, or determined in accordance with, regulations.
 
      (3) But if a certificate relates to a traffic casualty who has not received NHS treatment at a health service hospital in respect of his injury, it must indicate that no amount is payable to the Secretary of State by reference to that certificate.
 
      (4) Regulations under subsection (2) may, in particular, provide-
 
 
    (a) that the amount, or the aggregate amount, specified in a certificate is not to exceed a prescribed sum;
 
    (b) for different amounts to be specified in respect of different circumstances, including, in particular, whether or not the treatment concerned was in respect of injuries resulting from an incident occurring before 2nd July 1997;
 
    (c) for cases in which a traffic casualty receives treatment at two or more health service hospitals;
 
    (d) for cases in which liability under section 1(2) is to be apportioned between two or more persons making compensation payments in respect of the same traffic casualty.
      (5) Regulations under subsection (2) may be made so as to apply to any certificate issued after the time the regulations come into force, other than one relating to a compensation payment made before that time.
 
      (6) A person to whom a certificate is issued is entitled to such particulars of the manner in which any amount or amounts specified in the certificate have been determined as may be prescribed, if he applies to the Secretary of State for those particulars.
 
 
Recovery of NHS charges
Payment of NHS charges.     4. - (1) If the certificate by reference to which an amount payable under section 1(2) is determined is issued before the settlement date, that amount must be paid before the end of the period of 14 days beginning with the settlement date.
 
      (2) If the certificate by reference to which an amount payable under section 1(2) is determined is issued on or after the settlement date, that amount must be paid before the end of the period of 14 days beginning with the day on which the certificate is issued.
 
      (3) "Settlement date" means the date on which the compensation payment is made.
 
      (4) This section is subject to section 5(2).
 
Recovery of NHS charges.     5. - (1) This section applies if a person has made a compensation payment and either-
 
 
    (a) subsection (8) of section 2 applies but he has not applied for a certificate as required by that subsection; or
 
    (b) he has not made payment, in full, of any amount due under section 1(2) by the end of the period allowed under section 4.
      (2) The Secretary of State may-
 
 
    (a) in a case within subsection (1)(a), issue the person who made the compensation payment with a certificate, and
 
    (b) in a case within subsection (1)(b), issue him with a copy of the certificate or (if more than one has been issued) the most recent one,
  and, in either case, issue him with a demand that payment of any amount due under section 1(2) be made immediately.
 
      (3) The Secretary of State may recover the amount for which a demand for payment is made under subsection (2) from the person who made the compensation payment.
 
      (4) If the person who made the compensation payment resides or carries on business in England and Wales and a county court so orders, the amount demanded is recoverable by execution issued from the county court or otherwise as if it were payable under an order of that court.
 
      (5) If the person who made the compensation payment resides or carries on business in Scotland, the demand may be enforced as if it were an extract registered decree arbitral bearing a warrant for execution issued by the sheriff court of any sheriffdom in Scotland.
 
      (6) A document which states that it is a record of the amount recoverable under subsection (3) is conclusive evidence that that amount is so recoverable if it is signed by a person authorised to do so by the Secretary of State.
 
      (7) For the purposes of subsection (6), a document purporting to be signed by a person authorised to do so by the Secretary of State is to be treated as so signed unless the contrary is proved.
 
 
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