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Statutory Rules of Northern Ireland

2009 No. 98

Health And Social Care

The Patient and Client Council (Membership and Procedure) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009

Made

11th March 2009

Coming into operation

1st April 2009

The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety makes the following regulations in exercise of the powers conferred by sections 16(2), 17(4), 18(3), (4) and (5) of, and paragraphs 5 and 11(1) of Schedule 4 to, the Health and Social Care (Reform) Act (Northern Ireland) 2009(1).

PART 1GENERAL

Citation, commencement and interpretation

1.—(1) These regulations may be cited as the Patient and Client Council (Membership and Procedure) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009 and shall come into operation on 1st April 2009.

(2) In these regulations—

the Act” means the Health and Social Care (Reform) Act (Northern Ireland) 2009;

“bankruptcy restrictions order” means an order made under Schedule 2A of the Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 1989(2);

“charity trustee” means one of the persons having the general control and management of the administration of a charity;

“health service body” means—

(a)

any of the following within the meaning of the National Health Service Act 2006(3)—

(i)

a Strategic Health Authority;

(ii)

a Special Health Authority;

(iii)

a Primary Care Trust;

(iv)

an NHS trust;

(v)

a Local Health Board;

(b)

any of the following within the meaning of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978(4)—

(i)

a Health Board;

(ii)

a Special Health Board;

(iii)

the Common Services Agency for the Scottish Health Service;

(iv)

the Scottish Dental Practice Board;

(c)

the Wales Centre for Health established under section 2 of the Health (Wales) Act 2003(5);

(d)

the Health Protection Agency established under section 1 of the Health Protection Agency Act 2004(6);

(e)

the Care Quality Commission established under section 1 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008(7);

“the Council” means the Patient and Client Council established under section 16 of the Act;

“trade union” has the meaning assigned to it in Article 3 of the Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1992(8);

“trustee for a charity” is a person not being a charity trustee, in whom legal title to the property of the charity is vested;

“voluntary organisation” shall have the same meaning as in the Order of 1972.

PART 2MEMBERSHIP

Membership

2.—(1) The number of members appointed by the Department for the purposes of paragraph 5(a) of Schedule 4 to the Act shall be 16.

(2) The members appointed under paragraph (1) shall include—

(a)five members of district councils;

(b)five representatives of voluntary organisations with an interest in health and social care; and

(c)one representative of a trade union.

Disqualification for appointment

3.—(1) Subject to regulation 4, a person shall be disqualified for appointment as a Chair or as a member of the Council if that person—

(a)has within five years of the day the appointment would otherwise have taken effect been convicted, whether in the United Kingdom or elsewhere, of any offence and has been given a sentence of imprisonment (whether suspended or not) for a period of not less than three months without the option of a fine;

(b)has been dismissed, other than by reason of redundancy, from any paid employment with the Department, a health and social care body or a health service body;

(c)is the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order;

(d)is subject to a disqualification under the Company Directors Disqualification (Northern Ireland) Order 2002(9), the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986(10) or to an order made under section 429(2)(b) of the Insolvency Act 1986(11) (failure to pay under county court administration order);

(e)has been—

(i)removed from the office of charity trustee or trustee for a charity in Northern Ireland or by an order made by the Charity Commissioners or the High Court in England and Wales on the grounds of any misconduct or mismanagement in the administration of the charity for which that person was responsible or to which that person was privy, or which that person’s conduct contributed to or facilitated; or

(ii)removed under section 7 of the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1990(12) (powers of the Court of Session to deal with management of charities), from being concerned in the management or control of any body;

(f)is a Chair, chairman, member or non-executive director of any health and social care body or health service body;

(g)holds any paid employment or office with the Department, a health and social care body or a health service body;

(h)is a person who has been removed from office as the Chair, chairman, member or non-executive director of a health and social care body or a health service body.

(2) For the purposes of paragraph 1(a)—

(a)the date of conviction shall be deemed to be the date on which the ordinary period allowed for making an appeal or application with respect to the conviction expires or, if such an appeal or application is made, the date on which the appeal or application is finally disposed of or abandoned or fails by reason of its not being prosecuted; and

(b)there shall be disregarded—

(i)any conviction by or before a court outside the United Kingdom for an offence in respect of conduct which, if it had taken place in any part of the United Kingdom, would not have constituted an offence under the law in force in that part of the United Kingdom;

(ii)any sentence of imprisonment passed by such a court on a person who at the time the sentence was passed was under 21 years of age.

(3) For the purposes of paragraph 1(b)—

(a)a person shall not be treated as having been in paid employment by reason only of his being a Chair, chairman, member or non-executive director of a health service body or a health and social care body; and

(b)“dismissed” excludes dismissal which was established to have been unfair in industrial tribunal proceedings.

Cessation of disqualification

4.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), where a person is disqualified under regulation 3(1)(b) (dismissed employees) that person may, after the expiry of a period of not less than two years, apply in writing to the Department to remove the disqualification and the Department may direct that the disqualification shall cease.

(2) Where the Department refuses an application to remove a disqualification no further application may be made by that person until the expiration of two years from the date of the application.

(3) Where a person is disqualified under regulation 3(1)(h) (certain Chairs, chairmen, members or non-executive directors whose appointments have been terminated), the disqualification shall cease on the expiry of a period of two years or such longer period as the Department specifies when terminating the period of office but the Department may on application being made to it by that person reduce the period of disqualification.

Tenure of office

5.—(1) The Chair of the Council shall be appointed for a period not exceeding 4 years.

(2) The other members of the Council shall be appointed for a period not exceeding 4 years.

(3) Members of the Council may be appointed for periods of different duration.

(4) The period of appointment of the Chair and of any particular member of the Council shall be determined by the Department.

(5) Subject to regulation 3, the Chair or a member of the Council may, on the termination of the period of tenure of office, be eligible for re-appointment for such further period, not exceeding 4 years as the Department may in any particular case determine.

(6) The Department may, instead of re-appointing the Chair or a member of the Council on the expiration of his term of office, extend his appointment for such further period as may appear reasonable in the particular circumstances; but the period by which an appointment is extended must not exceed 4 years.

(7) A Chair or any member of the Council specified in regulation 2(2)(a), (b) or (c)—

(a)who ceases to be a—

(i)member of a district council;

(ii)representative of a voluntary organisation with an interest in health and social care; or

(iii)representative of a trade union;

shall cease to be a Chair or a member of the Council;

(b)who is suspended from being a—

(i)member of a district council;

(ii)representative of a voluntary organisation with an interest in health and social care; or

(iii)representative of a trade union;

shall be suspended from being a Chair or a member of the Council while so suspended.

Resignations

6.—(1) The Chair or a member of the Council may resign his office at any time during his term of office by giving not less than 30 days notice in writing to the Department of his intention to do so.

(2) A person who resigns as Chair of the Council may, if the Department consents, continue to serve as a member of the Council for any part of the period of his appointment which remains when his resignation as Chair takes effect.

(3) A person who, on his resignation as Chair of the Council seeks to continue to serve as a member of the Council, shall inform the Department in writing of his wish to do so when submitting his resignation as Chair.

(4) A person who fails to comply with the requirement of paragraph (3) shall cease to be a member of the Council when his term of office as Chair terminates.

(5) In the case of a member of the Council who during his term of office is appointed Chair of the Council, the terms on which he was appointed a member shall cease to apply on the day on which his appointment as Chair takes effect.

Removal

7.—(1) Where a Chair or a member of the Council—

(a)is absent from meetings of the Council for more than 6 months consecutively, except for an approved reason;

(b)is convicted of an indictable offence;

(c)becomes disqualified for appointment under regulation 3;

(d)is incapable of carrying out his functions for reasons of ill health; or

(e)has failed to comply with regulation 9 (exclusion on account of pecuniary interest);

the Council shall forthwith, by resolution, declare the office to be vacant and shall notify that fact in such manner as it thinks fit, and thereupon the office shall become vacant.

(2) In paragraph 1(a) “approved reason” means a reason approved by the Department.

(3) Where the place of the Chair or a member of the Council becomes vacant before the expiration of the Chair or the member’s term of office, whether by death, resignation or otherwise, the vacancy shall by filled by appointment by the Department and any person so appointed shall hold office for the remainder of the term of office of the former Chair or member.

(4) Where the Department is of the opinion that it is not in the interest of, or conducive to the good management of, the Council or any of its committees that the Chair or a member of the Council should continue to hold office, it may forthwith remove the Chair or a member by giving him notice in writing to that effect.

(5) Where a person has been appointed Chair or a member of the Council and it comes to the notice of the Department that at the time of the appointment he was disqualified for appointment under regulation 3, it shall forthwith declare that the person in question was not duly appointed and notify him in writing to that effect; and upon receipt of such notification, he shall be removed and he shall cease to act as such Chair or member of the Council.

Appointment of deputy Chair

8.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), the Chair and members of the Council may appoint one of their number to be deputy Chair for such period, not exceeding the remainder of his term of office as a member, as they may specify on appointing him.

(2) Any member so appointed may at any time resign from the office of deputy Chair by giving notice in writing to the Chair.

(3) Where the Chair is, for whatever reason, unable to perform his duties as Chair, the deputy Chair may perform those duties.

Disclosure of pecuniary interest and exclusion of Chair and members of the Council in proceedings on account of pecuniary interest

9.—(1) Subject to the following provisions of this regulation, if the Chair or any other member of the Council has a pecuniary interest, direct or indirect, in any contract, proposed contract or other matter and is present at any meeting of the Council at which the contract, proposed contract or other matter is the subject of consideration, he shall at the meeting or as soon as practicable after its meeting, disclose his interest and shall not take part in the consideration or discussion of the contract, proposed contract or other matter or vote on any question with respect to it.

(2) The Council may, by standing orders made under regulation 12, provide for the exclusion of the Chair or any other member of the Council from a meeting of the Council while any contract, proposed contract or other matter in which he has a pecuniary interest, direct or indirect, is under consideration.

(3) Any remuneration, compensation or allowances payable to the Chair or other member of the Council by virtue of paragraph 4 of Schedule 4 to the Act (remuneration and allowances) shall not be treated as a pecuniary interest for the purpose of this regulation.

(4) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (5), the Chair or other member of the Council shall be treated for the purpose of this regulation as having an indirect pecuniary interest in a contract, proposed contract or other matter if—

(a)he, or a nominee of his, is a director of a company or other body, not being a public body, with which the contract was made or is proposed to be made or which has a direct pecuniary interest in the other matter under consideration; or

(b)he is a partner of, or is in the employment of, a person with whom the contract was made or who has a direct pecuniary interest in the other matter under consideration;

and in the case of married persons living together the interest of one spouse shall, if known to the other, be deemed for the purpose of this regulation to be also an interest of the other.

(5) Neither the Chair nor a member of the Council shall be treated as having a pecuniary interest in any contract, proposed contract or other matter by reason only—

(a)of his membership of a company or other body if he has no beneficial interest in any securities of that company or other body; or

(b)of an interest in any company, body or person with which he is connected as mentioned in paragraph (4) which is so remote or insignificant that it cannot reasonably be regarded as likely to influence him in consideration or discussion of, or in voting on, any question with respect to that contract, proposed contract or other matter.

(6) Where the Chair or other member of the Council—

(a)has an indirect pecuniary interest in a contract, proposed contract or other matter by reason only of a beneficial interest in securities of a company or other body; and

(b)the total nominal value of those securities does not exceed £5,000 or one-hundredth of the total nominal value of the issued share capital of the company or body, whichever is the lesser; and

(c)if the share capital is of more than one class, the total nominal value of shares of any one class in which he has a beneficial interest does not exceed one-hundredth of the total issued capital of that class;

this regulation shall not prohibit him from taking part in the consideration or discussion of the contract, proposed contract or other matter, or from voting on any question with respect to it, without prejudice however to his duty to disclose his interest.

(7) This regulation applies to any committee or sub-committee of the Council as it applies to the Council and applies to any member of any such committee or sub-committee (whether or not he is also a member of the Council) as it applies to a member of the Council.

(8) In this regulation—

“public body” includes—

(a)

any body established for the purpose of carrying on under national ownership, any industry or undertaking or part of any industry or undertaking;

(b)

the governing body of any university, university college or college school or hall of a university; and

(c)

the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty incorporated by the National Trust Act 1907(13);

“securities” means—

(a)

shares or debentures, whether or not constituting a charge on the assets of a company or other body, or rights or interests in any share or such debentures; or

(b)

rights (whether actual or contingent) in respect of money lent to, or deposited with, any industrial or provident society or building society;

“shares” means shares in the share capital of a company or other body or the stock of a company or other body.

PART 3PROCEDURE

Committees

10.—(1) The Council shall appoint a committee for each of the areas specified in the Schedule to which it may delegate such of its functions as it thinks fit.

(2) Without prejudice to paragraph (1), the Council may appoint one or more committees to which it may delegate such of its functions as it thinks fit.

(3) A committee appointed under this regulation may include persons who are not members of the Council.

(4) The names of the committees appointed under paragraph (1) shall be those specified in column 1 of the Schedule and the area of the committees shall be the areas of those local government districts specified opposite the name of that committee in column 2 of the Schedule.

(5) Every member of a committee who, at the time of appointment, was a member of the Council shall, on ceasing to be a member of the Council, also cease to be a member of the committee.

(6) Regulations 3 and 7 shall apply to appointments to committees and sub-committees and to the removal of those appointments as they apply to appointments to the Council and to the removal of those appointments.

Sub-committees

11.—(1) The Council or a committee may appoint a sub-committee to consider and report to the Council, or as the case may be, the committee on any matter within the competence of the Council or the committee.

(2) A sub-committee may include persons who are not members of the Council or the committee which appoints the sub-committee.

Proceedings

12.  Without prejudice to section 19(1)(a)(v) of the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954(14) (right of a body corporate to regulate its own procedure) the Council shall make standing orders regulating the procedure of the Council, its committees and sub-committees, including provisions regulating—

(a)the convening of meetings;

(b)the fixing of the quorum; and

(c)the conduct of business at meetings.

Validity of proceedings

13.  The proceedings of the Council or of any committee or sub-committee are not invalidated—

(a)by any vacancy in the membership of the Council or the committee or sub-committee;

(b)by any defect in the appointment of any of its members; or

(c)by any failure to comply with regulation 12.

Annual report

14.  The Council shall, in respect of each financial year, prepare and send to the Department a report on the exercise of its functions which shall—

(a)specify the financial year to which it relates;

(b)describe the organisational structure of the Council and the matters for which the Council is responsible;

(c)review the Council’s activities during that year, including details of—

(i)the priorities and objectives which have been set;

(ii)the achievements of the Council, measured by reference to the priorities and objectives which have been set; and

(iii)the co-operation with other bodies to secure improvement in the health and social well-being of people in Northern Ireland;

(d)specify any material events affecting performance; and

(e)include the names of any persons who at any time during the relevant financial year have been a Chair or a member of the Council.

PART 4FUNCTIONS

Provision of assistance to individuals making or intending to make a complaint

15.  For the purposes of section 17(4) of the Act (complaint of a prescribed description) the Council may provide assistance to individuals about any expression of dissatisfaction that requires a response and is reasonably connected with the exercise of the functions of a body responsible for health and social care in accordance with section 17(9) of the Act.

Entry to premises

16.—(1) A member of the Council may, for the purposes of any of the Council’s functions, enter—

(a)any premises described in section 18(4)(a) of the Act; and

(b)any other premises where health and social care is provided by a body responsible for health and social care in accordance with section 17(9) of the Act;

and except where, in the opinion of the persons or bodies controlling those premises, this would compromise the effective provision of health and social care or the service user’s safety, privacy or dignity, those persons and bodies shall comply with the request for entry.

(2) A member of the Council may not enter any premises or part of premises used as residential accommodation by persons employed by any of the persons or bodies described in section 18(4)(a) of the Act, or responsible for health and social care in accordance with section 17(9) of the Act.

(3) In exercising rights of entry under this regulation, the Council shall have regard to the need to safeguard service users’ safety, privacy and dignity and the need not to compromise the effective provision of health and social care services.

Sealed with the Official Seal of the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety on 11th March 2009

Legal seal

Dr J F Livingstone

A senior officer of the

Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety

Regulation 10

SCHEDULESpecified Committee Areas

The area of each Patient and Client Council committee established in accordance with regulation 10(1) shall be the local government districts specified below:

Column 1

Committee

Column 2

Area

BelfastBelfast and Castlereagh
NorthernAntrim, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Carrickfergus, Coleraine, Cookstown, Larne, Magherafelt, Moyle and Newtownabbey
South EasternArds, Down, Lisburn and North Down
SouthernArmagh, Banbridge, Craigavon, Dungannon and Newry and Mourne
WesternDerry, Fermanagh, Limavady, Omagh and Strabane

EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the regulations)

These regulations make provision concerning the membership of the Patient and Client Council established under the Health and Social Care (Reform) Act (Northern Ireland) 2009. They prescribe that 16 persons shall be appointed to the Patient and Client Council by the Department (regulation 2(1)) and that these persons shall include 5 members of district councils, 5 persons representing voluntary organisations with an interest in health and social care and one person representing a trade union (regulation 2(2)). They provide for the disqualification and cessation of disqualification for appointment and prescribe in relation to tenure of office, suspension, resignation, removal and disclosure of interests of the Chair and persons appointed by the Department under these regulations. In addition, the regulations make provision in relation to standing orders and the appointment of a deputy Chair, committees and sub-committees. With regard to committees they specifically prescribe that the Patient and Client Council shall appoint a committee for each of the areas specified in the Schedule to which it may delegate such of its functions as it thinks fit. They also prescribe the nature of complaints the Patient and Client Council may provide assistance with and provide a right of entry for Patient and Client Council members to certain establishments providing health and social care.

(2)

S.I. 1989/2405 (N.I. 19); the relevant amending instrument is S.I. 2005/1455 (N.I. 10)

(4)

1978 c.29; section 2 was amended by paragraph 1 of Schedule 7 to the Health and Social Services and Social Security Adjudications Act 1983 (c.41) and by section 28 of the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990 (c.19); section 10 was amended by paragraph 2 of Schedule 6 to the Health Services Act 1980 (c.53)