Proposals and applications in relation to registered independent health care services
Section 10S – Cancellation of registration
222.This section gives HIS the power to cancel the registration of an independent health care service that, having been issued with an improvement notice, is still not meeting the relevant requirements. This could be concern about a condition of registration that has been breached or where a relevant offence has been committed. Further grounds for cancelling registration may be prescribed by regulations.
223.Subsection (2)(a) provides that relevant offences for the purpose of this section are:
an offence under this group of sections;
any other offence which in HIS's view makes it appropriate to cancel a registration.
224.Registration can be formally cancelled even if a provider closes an independent health care service before the cancellation process is complete. This will ensure that the provider's record accurately reflects the situation and HIS will be aware of previous history in dealing with any future applications.
225.Cancellation of registration would not normally be the first step in a formal enforcement action. It is only likely to be used where the service has not met conditions of registration over time and has ignored the serving of an improvement notice. If an independent health care service provider is convicted of a relevant offence, such as obstructing an inspection and fails to remedy matters at fault, HIS will be able to cancel registration.
Section 10T – Emergency cancellation of registration
226.Subsections (1) to (3) enable HIS to apply to the sheriff for an order cancelling the registration of any independent health care service. The sheriff may make such an order where he considers that, unless the order is made there will be serious risk to the life, health or well-being of users of the service (or other persons). Subsections (4) and (5) require HIS to inform the appropriate authorities and the provider of the application where an order (or an interim order) is made. Subsection (6) allows the Sheriff to determine the application even where the service provider is not present.
227.Subsection (7) provides that the order can come into effect on the day it is made or on some later date decided by the sheriff. An order to cancel a service’s registration would have the effect of closing the service. This provision therefore allows a delay before closure takes effect in order that the service may be closed down in a proper manner and for instance services users relocated.
228.Subsections (8) and (9) allow an appeal to be made to the sheriff within 14 days of an order being made and for the sheriff principal on hearing such an appeal to confirm, revoke or modify the order. The order remains in force when an appeal is made. No further appeal is allowed.
Section 10U – Condition notices
229.This section enables HIS to notify the registered independent health care service, by a “condition notice” that a condition in force may be varied, removed or a new condition added.
Section 10V – Emergency Condition Notices
230.This section gives HIS the power to give immediate effect to any condition notice which it serves on a registered service. This will only be applied when, in HIS’ view, there is serious risk to life, health or wellbeing if the condition is not imposed. The service provider may make representations to HIS to vary or remove the emergency condition notice. HIS must consider any such representation and inform the provider of the action it proposed to take. Where HIS does not intend to vary or remove the condition the provider may appeal to the sheriff under section 10X(1).
Section 10W – Application of Act to condition notices following emergency condition notices
231.Section 10W disapplies the sections that outline that 14 days must elapse before a condition notice can be applied and thus provides that immediate effect of the emergency condition notices is allowed within the legislation.
Section 10X – Emergency Condition Notices: Appeals
232.This section gives a right of appeal to the sheriff to any person given an emergency condition notice within 14 days of the imposition of the condition, if they have made no appeal to HIS or have made an appeal and been informed by HIS that the condition notice stands. The sheriff may decide to direct that the condition continues, ceases, is varied or may impose addition conditions in relation to the registration.
Section 10Y – Applications in respect of conditions
233.Subsection (1) enables a provider of an independent health care service to apply for a change to their conditions of registration, to apply for the addition of a condition, for example, to limit the types of services which may be provided, or to apply voluntarily for the cancellation of registration, for example, if they plan to close or sell the business. Subsection (2) prevents a person voluntarily cancelling their registration if HIS has given notice of intention to, or decided to, cancel registration. Subsection (3) provides that an application shall be accompanied by the fee and that regulations shall say how the application is to be made and what particulars are to be stated in it. Subsection (4) provides that if HIS grants an application for a change of conditions it must give notice in writing and issue a new certificate of registration.
Section 10Z – Further provision as respects notice of proposals
234.Subsection (1) provides for HIS to give notice of decisions it intends to take, in respect of applications for registration made under Section 10P, if it intends to grant an application subject to conditions, or to refuse it. For example, in the case of a person applying for registration for the first time, the notice of proposal will state the conditions subject to which HIS proposes to grant the application.
235.Subsection (2) requires HIS to give notice if it intends to cancel a registration. Subsection (3) requires HIS to give notice if it decides to refuse an application for a variation of conditions made under Section 10Y. Such notice must set out the reasons (subsection (4)).
Section 10Z1 – Right to make representations to HIS as respects proposals
236.This section states that a notice given under Section 10Z must indicate that the recipient of the notice can, if they so wish, make written representations to HIS within a time limit of 14 days (subsection (1)). This ensures that that person has the opportunity to make their point of view known. Subsection (2) provides that HIS may not implement the terms of the notice until the 14 day period has ended unless they receive representations during the 14 day period or the person notifies HIS that they will not be making representations.