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#280493 - 5th Jan 2009 12:42am New Law comes into effect from January 1st 2009
Wench Offline

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Registered: 9th Aug 2008
Posts: 8616
Loc: Second Circle of Hell.
Offence of causing nuisance or disturbance on NHS premises


Section 119(4) Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 came in to force today (01/01/09); as a result the offence in section 119 became operational. Note however that at the present time, the offence is not applicable to Welsh NHS premises.


Section 119 creates a new offence of causing a nuisance or disturbance to NHS staff on NHS premises. It addresses behaviour which disrupts NHS staff in the performance of their duties and affects the delivery of healthcare. Penalty = level 3 fine.


Subsection (1) sets out the required elements of the offence. In order to commit the offence, a person must, without reasonable excuse, cause a nuisance or disturbance to an NHS staff member whilst on NHS premises.

A nuisance or disturbance can include any form of non-physical behaviour which breaches the peace, such as verbal aggression or intimidating gestures towards NHS staff. A person will not commit the offence if he or she has a reasonable excuse for causing the nuisance or disturbance or refusing to leave the premises. Behaviour consequential to the receipt of upsetting News or bereavement may, for example, constitute a reasonable excuse. A nuisance or disturbance must be caused to an NHS staff member, rather than any other person. At the time the nuisance or disturbance is caused, the NHS staff member must either be working at the premises or be there for some other purpose relating to his work, such as travelling to work, walking between buildings or taking a break. The nuisance or disturbance must be caused on NHS premises.

If the conditions in subsection (1)(a) are satisfied, the person may be asked to leave the premises by a police constable or NHS staff member. If the person refuses to leave without reasonable excuse, then the person may commit the offence. A reasonable excuse for not leaving the premises may, for example, include a situation where a dependent is on the premises concerned and the person causing a nuisance or disturbance has a responsibility to remain on the premises with this dependent.

Subsection (1)(c) provides that a person who is on the premises for the purpose of obtaining medical advice, treatment or care will not be able to commit the offence. Patients and those attending for consultations, to collect medication or test results or convalescing after treatment will not be able to commit the offence.

Subsection (3) sets out the circumstances in which a person will not be regarded as legitimately on the premises for medical purposes. It provides that a person that has received medical advice, treatment or care, or who is seeking medical advice, treatment or care which he or she has been refused less than 8 hours before is not on the premises for the purpose of obtaining medical advice, treatment or care and is capable of committing the offence.

Subsection (4) outlines the scope of the offence by defining the terms "NHS premises", "NHS staff member" and other related terms. NHS premises refers to both English and Welsh NHS premises. "English NHS premises" refers to any hospital owned or managed by an English NHS Trust, Primary Care Trust or NHS Foundation Trust and includes buildings, other structures and vehicles located on hospital grounds. "Welsh NHS premises" refers to any hospital owned or managed by a Welsh NHS Trust or Local Health Board and includes buildings, other structures and vehicles located on hospital grounds. "Vehicles" may include, for example, ambulances or air ambulances but do not fall within the definition of "NHS premises" when they are outside hospital grounds. The definition of an NHS staff member includes staff who are not directly employed by, but work for, the relevant English or Welsh NHS body. These could include agency workers, contractors, students or volunteers.
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#280568 - 5th Jan 2009 1:08pm Re: New Law comes into effect from January 1st 2009 [Re: Wench]
DavidB Offline
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Registered: 7th Dec 2003
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Loc: Bebington, Wirral
Why do people actually abuse people trying to do their jobs? I don't understand it?
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#280595 - 5th Jan 2009 2:59pm Re: New Law comes into effect from January 1st 2009 [Re: DavidB]
diggingdeeper Offline

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Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9885
Loc: Birkenhead
Yet another drivel of a law - there are already laws about disturbing the peace etc, if these need bolstering up then fine but we can't have millions a seperate laws for each individual scenario.

Q1 NHS premises - does a NHS TRUST own the premises or the NHS itself. Does leased premises also count....

At one time this country used be able to write laws that were meaningful and enforceable, these days we seem to be re-writing laws to enable loopholes and confusion.

Yes, NHS workers should be protected whilst executing thir duties - but yes, every other person should also be equally protected whilst carrying out their legitamate activities.

Oh sh!t, soapbox worn out again!!!
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#280617 - 5th Jan 2009 3:58pm Re: New Law comes into effect from January 1st 2009 [Re: diggingdeeper]
MissGuided Offline

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Registered: 18th Jul 2008
Posts: 9995
Loc: Back of the wardrobe
One thing that really bugs me is that they have terrible trouble enforcing the 2 visitors to a bed rule.

There you are visiting a dying relative and there's someone not so ill in the next bed with 6 loud chavs visiting them!! And the staff don't seem to give a sh*t or are too scared to do anything about it.
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#280639 - 5th Jan 2009 6:20pm Re: New Law comes into effect from January 1st 2009 [Re: MissGuided]
Wench Offline

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Registered: 9th Aug 2008
Posts: 8616
Loc: Second Circle of Hell.
DD - "English NHS premises" refers to any hospital owned or managed by an English NHS Trust, Primary Care Trust or NHS Foundation Trust and includes buildings, other structures and vehicles located on hospital grounds. I think the purpose of making it a seperate offence was that it was not properly covered by the Offences Against the Person Act. Possibly also so that a ban from treatment could be legal, as the NHS is "free to all at the point of contact".

In an ideal world, there would be no need for this!!

I'm with you on the visitors MissG - we used to enforce it strictly back in the day, along with the "no sitting on the patients' bed". Visiting times were set in stone back then!! Woebetide anyone who even atempted to bend the rules - the Nursing Officer would be on them like a ton of bricks raftl

*we wore hats and capes then (I still have pics of me in full uniform), and were not allowed off hospital premises in our uniforms. Strangely enough, the MRSA levels were virtually nil back then think *
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