§ Mr. Wilson
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the categories of hospital and the aspects of their work, which enjoy Crown immunity.
§ Mr. Michael Forsyth
The NHS and Community Care Act 1990 provides for the removal from 1 April 1991, with limited exceptions, of those Crown immunities currently applied to hospitals managed by health boards and the state hospital. The exceptions are as follows:
- (a) exemption from the requirement to carry insurance against injury or disease sustained as a result of employment as required by the Employers Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 since the NHS makes equivalent arrangements for staff under the NHS (Injury Benefit) Regulations 1974;
- (b) immunity from motor vehicle taxation for NHS vehicles under the Vehicles (Excise) Act 1971;
- (c) the retention of Crown status for the purposes of Section 48 of the Copyright, Designs and Patients Act 1978 which relates to Copyright on material communicated to the Crown in the course of public business;
- (d) immunity from the requirement to effect third party insurance under the Road Traffic Act 1988.
NHS trusts will not be Crown bodies, but any hospitals under their control will also benefit from the remaining immunities listed above with the exception that immunity from the requirement to effect third party insurance is limited to ambulances only. Hospitals in the private sector will continue, as at present, to be required to meet all relevant statutory obligations.