Legislation Watch – Wales

Health Law Wales

Health and Social Care Briefing – February 2014


The Assembly has, to date, passed the following Acts of relevance to the health and social care community.

Food Hygiene Rating (Wales) Act 2013

This Act includes provision for food authorities to operate a food hygiene rating scheme and places a duty on food businesses to display their food hygiene rating at their establishment.

Human Transplantation (Wales) Act 2013

This Act aims to increase the number of organs and tissues available for transplant by introducing a soft opt-out system of organ and tissue donation in Wales.

National Health Service (Finance) (Wales) Act 2014

This Act is to change the current financial duties of Local Health Boards (LHBs) under the National Health Services (Wales) Act 2006 from an annual statutory requirement for expenditure not to exceed resource limit, to a regime which considers the financial duty to manage its resources within approved limits over a 3-year period.

Active Travel (Wales) Act 2014

This Act places a requirement on local authorities to continuously improve facilities and routes for walkers and cyclists and to prepare maps identifying current and potential future routes for their use.  The bill will also require new road schemes to consider the needs of pedestrians and cyclists at design stage.


Currently, these Bills that are going through the Assembly

Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Bill

This Bill aims to provide, for the first time, a coherent Welsh legal framework for social services.  It will ensure a strong voice and real control for people, of whatever age, enabling them to maximise their wellbeing.  It will set the legal framework and infrastructure to transform services to meet changing social expectations and changing demography.

This Bill has completed stage 3 and is now at report stage.

Housing (Wales) Bill

This Bill will:

Strengthen homelessness legislation, introduce a licensing system for landlords and letting agencies, allow local authorities to charge a higher rate of council tax on long-term empty properties and set standards for local authority rents, service charges and quality of accommodation.  It will place duties on local authorities to meet the needs of gypsies and travellers and abolish the Housing Revenue Account Subsidy System.

This Bill is at Committee Stage 2.

Recovery of Medical Costs for Asbestos Disease (Wales) Bill

The purpose of the Bill is to enable the Welsh Ministers to recover from a compensator (being a person by or on behalf of whom a compensation payout is made to or in respect of a victim of asbestos related disease), certain costs incurred by the NHS in Wales in providing care and treatment to the victim of the asbestos-related disease.

This bill is currently at post-stage 4.  The Counsel General has written to the Chief Executive and Clerk of the Assembly to advise that the Bill will be referred to the Supreme Court for a decision relating to legislative competence.


Regulation and Inspection (Wales) Bill

A separate Bill to the Social Services (Wales) Bill to cover the regulation and inspection of the social care workforce, training and social care services in Wales.  The Government published a white paper on the 30th September 2013.  A draft Bill will come out for consideration in 2014.    Ministerial statement


Public Health (Wales) Bill

To provide the legislative basis for delivering improved life expectancy, wellbeing and reducing health inequality in Wales as promised both in the manifesto and in the policy document ‘Fairer Health Outcomes for All’.

A Green Paper consultation ended February 2013.  This consultation was to collect views about whether a Public Health Bill is needed in Wales.  No final decision is made at this stage.