UK Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014

I am trying to understand what this particularly weasely-worded section actually means in plain English. There have been cases where, I believe it has been wrongly interpreted. The Act says:

Interpretation 2.—(1) In these Regulations—

... other than any services which, having regard to their nature and the circumstances in which they are provided, do not need to be provided by a nurse;

'X' means ...

Is it correct to say:

"other than" = apart from, except or differently from

"having regard to..." = (Legal) Remember and think carefully about...

So this does this correctly become:

except for any services which, when you remember and think carefully about its nature and the circumstances, do not need to be provided by a nurse;

'X' means...

In other words:

If someone other than a nurse provides the service, this definition of X does not apply.


'X' means this definition ONLY when the service is provided by a nurse.

Grateful for your thoughts...

  • 2
    No, you have the wrong definition of regard here. It just means in regards to, relating to, or concerning (how the services are provided). A close rewording would be that 'X' means this definition ONLY when the service must be provided by a nurse." – Yosef Baskin Jan 11 at 23:36
  • 1
    Just found a link that provides UK Case law to show "to have regard to..." imposes an obligation to "take the guidance into account".... hlregulation.com/2015/04/30/clarifying-the-duty-to-have-regard – NeilB Jan 11 at 23:46
  • Yes, that is one of the shades of meaning that applies in other situations. I thought you wanted help in the posted sentence. – Yosef Baskin Jan 12 at 0:12
  • I think your link should actually have been to the made Regulations at legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/2936/regulation/2/made – Andrew Leach Jan 12 at 1:27
  • The law jealously protects the idea that every case is in fact peculiar. The phrase makes it clear that what constitutes nursing care is case specific since the services which must be performed by a nurse vary case to case. However, they chose to express this by stating that what wasn't nursing care varies case to case. Dollars to donuts this was written by some insurance company lawyer. – Phil Sweet Jan 12 at 13:18

The relevant part of the Regulations appears to be

      “nurse” means a registered nurse;

      “nursing care” means any services provided by a nurse and involving—
      (a) the provision of care, or
      (b) the planning, supervision or delegation of the provision of care,
other than any services which, having regard to their nature and the circumstances in which they are provided, do not need to be provided by a nurse;

       “partnership” does not include a limited liability partnership;

Now, it's true that the layout is unhelpful (and the web page matches the print version), but note the semi-colons: the "other than" proviso goes with what precedes it. What this definition is doing is restricting "nursing care" to the provision of care or its planning which can only be provided by a nurse. It specifically excludes care which does not have to be provided by a nurse.

In fact, I can't think of a more succinct way of putting it than the drafters of the Regulations came up with.

However, it boils down to

  • "nursing care" is care provided by a nurse other than care which doesn't need a nurse to provide it.
  • "nursing care" is care which only a nurse can provide.

So a nurse might perform a service, but if it could [legally] be done by someone else who isn't a nurse, then it's not actually nursing care.

I don't think either of your versions is correct. In the first, you are saying that care is nursing care if a nurse provides it, even though it doesn't have to be a nurse; but if a non-nurse does the same thing then it's not nursing care. In the second, you're saying that anything a nurse does is nursing care. Neither is what the Regulation defines.

  • Hi Andrew, not sure this is the question. In the Act, after the "...provided by a nurse:", there is a list of things that constitute "CARE". I'm trying to understand if this definition of CARE only applies if you are a nurse, or if it also applies to [say] a family member looking after their parents. My reading is that it specifically intends to restrict the definition to nurses... – NeilB Jan 12 at 1:00
  • There's a list of things that constitute personal care. Not all of those will need to be provided by a nurse, and where someone else could do it, it's not nursing care. Where the circumstances dictate that only a nurse can do it, or only a nurse is appropriate, then it is nursing care. – Andrew Leach Jan 12 at 1:15
  • I would surmise that treatment like injections or changing a dressing perhaps does require a nurse and is therefore nursing care, but assistance with brushing teeth does not usually need a nurse and would not be nursing care. Of course, everyone's circumstances differ and even getting out of bed might require a nurse, in which case that's nursing care. But it is care which does actually require a nurse: if medical training isn't needed in the particular circumstances then it's not nursing care. – Andrew Leach Jan 12 at 1:21

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