§ The Countess of Mar
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether district health authorities are authorised to charge for incontinence pads supplied to National Health Service patients in local authority or privately owned residential and nursing homes; and if so what instructions have been issued.
§ Lord Henley
Health authorities are not empowered to charge for the incontinence pads which they may, at their discretion, supply to people living in private, local authority or voluntary residential homes. Private nursing homes were specifically excluded from the free-supply arrangements promulgated in 1974, since the treatment such homes provide would normally include any necessary services or equipment and the cost would be covered by the fees or charges paid to them by or on behalf of the patients (including those paid by a health authority under contractual arrangements). Under Section 7 of the Health and Medicines Act 1988 health authorities may supply such goods to nursing homes for a fee which includes an element of profit.