Skip to main content

National Health Service (Health And Safety)

Volume 951: debated on Tuesday 13 June 1978

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what discussions he is having with the Health and Safety Commission about the effect of Crown immunity in court on the application of the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974 in the National Health Service; and whether it is his intention that such immunity is withdrawn so that the enforcement provision of the Act can apply generally to the National Health Service.

pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 12th June 1978], gave the following information:At a meeting with Ministers in November 1977, the Health and Safety Commission expressed the view that amending legislation should be introduced to remove the Crown's immunity from enforcement and prosecution under the Health and Safety at Work Act. As requested at that meeting, the Commission has recently provided me with a paper about their views on this matter, detailing certain problems they have experienced in dealing with Crown bodies.As I have explained previously, the Act is binding on the Crown and the Government have given a firm commitment that they will take whatever action is necessary to secure compliance with the Act's provisions by all Crown bodies, including the National Health Service. We are, therefore, giving serious attention to the Commission's paper, but until we have completed our consideration of it I cannot say what action we may feel it necessary to take.