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The Health Services (Choice of Medical Practitioner) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1998

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Assignment by a pilot scheme provider

5.—(1) A pilot scheme provider who is required under regulation 4(2)(b) to assign an applicant to a doctor shall (subject to paragraphs (3), (4) and (5)) assign the applicant to a doctor within the period of two days beginning with the day on which he receives notice of the requirement to assign and shall, upon making that assignment, notify–

(a)the Agency of the name of the doctor to whom the applicant has been assigned; and

(b)the doctor of the assignment,

and the Agency shall, on receipt of notification under sub-paragraph (a), notify the applicant of the doctor to whom he has been assigned.

(2) In deciding on the doctor to whom a person should be assigned, the pilot scheme provider shall have regard to–

(a)the respective distances between the person’s residence and the practice premises of the doctors to whom he might assign that person (in this paragraph called “the relevant doctors”);

(b)whether within the period of six months ending on the date on which notice of the requirement to assign is received by the pilot scheme provider the person’s name has been removed from the doctor’s list of any of the relevant doctors at the request of the pilot scheme provider; and

(c)such other matters as the pilot scheme provider considers to be relevant.

(3) No person may be assigned to a doctor under this regulation without the consent of the Department, if the number of persons whose names are already included in the doctor’s list of that doctor is equal to or greater than any maximum imposed by directions given under Article 15E(3) of the 1972 Order.

(4) A pilot scheme provider may not assign the applicant to a doctor if that assignment would contravene the terms of the pilot scheme, in particular as to–

(a)whether the doctor is to be primarily responsible for the performance of personal medical services; and

(b)if so, the maximum number of persons who may be included in his doctor’s list.

(5) A pilot scheme provider may seek to assign the applicant to a doctor in a case where the consent of the Department is required under paragraph (3) only if there is no other doctor to whom he could make an assignment in accordance with this regulation which would not require the consent of the Department.

(6) A pilot scheme provider shall inform the Agency forthwith if–

(a)he has sought the consent of the Department for the purposes of paragraph (3) and that consent has been refused; or

(b)he is unable to assign the applicant to any doctor without contravening the terms of the pilot scheme,

and shall, in each of those cases, provide personal medical services to the applicant (which provision need not include the services mentioned in regulation 4(6), unless the pilot scheme provider is obliged to provide those services to the applicant in connection with a pilot scheme) for the period of 14 days beginning on the day on which the pilot scheme provider so informs the Agency, or if the applicant is accepted by a doctor or another pilot scheme provider or assigned to a doctor within that period, until he is so accepted or assigned.

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