Q&As

Is an NHS Trust a ‘public body’ under the Local Authorities (Goods and Services) Act 1970?

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Produced in partnership with Peter Ware of Browne Jacobson
Published on LexisPSL on 06/10/2020

The following Local Government Q&A produced in partnership with Peter Ware of Browne Jacobson provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Is an NHS Trust a ‘public body’ under the Local Authorities (Goods and Services) Act 1970?

Is an NHS Trust a ‘public body’ under the Local Authorities (Goods and Services) Act 1970?

The Local Authorities (Goods and Services) Act 1970 (LA(GS)A 1970) is a short statute, comprising of only three sections. Most of the detail is set out in LA(GS)A 1970, s 1, which permits local authorities to enter into contracts and agreements with other local authorities and public bodies for any of the following:

  1. the supply of goods or materials

  2. provision of administrative, technical or professional services

  3. the use of vehicles, plant or apparatus, and

  4. for undertaking maintenance works

NHS trusts were first established under the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990, and the common-sense approach would be to conclude that an NHS Trust is a ‘public body’. However, for the purposes of LA(GS)A 1970, ‘public body’ is defined in a more restrictive sense.

Firstly, LA(GS)A 1970, s 1(4) states ‘public body’ means any:

  1. local authority

  2. police and crime commissioner

  3. housing action trust

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