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The National Health Service (General Medical Services Contracts) (Scotland) Regulations 2004

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PART 1Provision of Services

Premises

1.  Subject to any plan which is included in the contract pursuant to regulation 18(3), the contractor shall ensure that the premises used for the provision of services under the contract are—

(a)suitable for the delivery of those services; and

(b)sufficient to meet the reasonable needs of the contractor’s patients.

Attendance at practice premises

2.—(1) The contractor shall take steps to ensure that any patient who—

(a)has not previously made an appointment; and

(b)attends at the practice premises during the normal hours for essential services,

is provided with such services by an appropriate health care professional during that surgery period except in the circumstances specified in sub-paragraph (2).

(2) The circumstances referred to in sub-paragraph (1) are that—

(a)it is more appropriate for the patient to be referred elsewhere for services under the Act; or

(b)the patient is then offered an appointment to attend again within a time which is appropriate and reasonable having regard to all the circumstances and the patient’s health would not thereby be jeopardised.

Attendance outside practice premises

3.—(1) In the case of a patient whose medical condition is such that in the reasonable opinion of the contractor—

(a)attendance on the patient is required; and

(b)it would be inappropriate for the patient to attend at the practice premises,

the contractor shall provide services to that patient at whichever in its judgement is the most appropriate of the places set out in sub-paragraph (2).

(2) The places referred to in sub-paragraph (1) are—

(a)the place recorded in the patient’s medical records as being the patient’s last home address;

(b)such other place as the contractor has informed the patient and the Health Board is the place where the contractor has agreed to visit and treat the patient; or

(c)some other place in the contractor’s practice area.

(3) Nothing in this paragraph prevents the contractor from—

(a)arranging for the referral of a patient without first seeing the patient, in a case where the medical condition of that patient makes that course of action appropriate; or

(b)visiting the patient in circumstances where this paragraph does not place it under an obligation to do so.

Newly registered patients

4.—(1) Where a patient has been—

(a)accepted on a contractor’s list of patients under paragraph 15; or

(b)assigned to that list by the Health Board,

the contractor shall, in addition to and without prejudice to its other obligations in respect of that patient under the contract, invite the patient to participate in a consultation either at the contractor’s practice premises or, if the medical condition of the patient so warrants, at one of the places referred to in paragraph 3(2).

(2) An invitation under sub-paragraph (1) shall be issued within six months of the date of the acceptance of the patient on, or their assignment to, the contractor’s list.

(3) Where a patient (or, where appropriate, in the case of a patient who is a child, the child’s parent) agrees to participate in a consultation mentioned in sub-paragraph (1) the contractor shall, in the course of that consultation make such inquiries and undertake such examinations as appear to it to be appropriate in all the circumstances.

Patients not seen within 3 years

5.—(1) Where a registered patient who—

(a)has attained the age of 16 years but has not attained the age of 75 years; and

(b)has attended neither a consultation with, nor a clinic provided by, the contractor within the preceding 3 years prior to the date of the patient’s request,

requests a consultation the contractor shall, in addition and without prejudice to the contractor’s other obligations in respect of that patient under the contract, provide such a consultation in the course of which the contractor shall make such inquiries and undertake such examinations as appear to the contractor to be appropriate in all the circumstances.

Patients aged 75 years and over

6.—(1) Where a registered patient who—

(a)has attained the age of 75 years; and

(b)has not participated in a consultation under this paragraph within the period of twelve months prior to the date of the patient’s request,

requests a consultation, the contractor shall, in addition and without prejudice to its other obligations in respect of that patient under the contract, provide such a consultation in the course of which it shall make such inquiries and undertake such examinations as appear to it to be appropriate in all the circumstances.

(2) A consultation under sub-paragraph (1) shall take place in the home of the patient where, in the reasonable opinion of the contractor, it would be inappropriate, as a result of the patient’s medical condition, for the patient to attend at the practice premises.

Clinical reports

7.—(1) Where the contractor provides any clinical services, other than under a private arrangement, to a patient who is not on the contractor’s list of patients, the contractor shall, as soon as reasonably practicable, provide a clinical report relating to the consultation, and any treatment provided, to the Health Board.

(2) The Health Board shall send any report received under sub-paragraph (1)—

(a)to the person with whom the patient is registered for the provision of essential services or their equivalent; or

(b)if the person referred to in paragraph (a) is not known to it, to the Health Board in whose area the patient is resident.

Storage of vaccines

8.  The contractor shall ensure that—

(a)all vaccines are stored in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions; and

(b)all refrigerators in which vaccines are stored have a maximum/minimum thermometer and that readings are taken on all working days.

Infection control

9.  The contractor shall ensure that it has appropriate arrangements for infection control and decontamination.

Criteria for out of hours services

10.  A contractor whose contract includes the provision of out of hours services shall only be required to provide such services if, in the reasonable opinion of the contractor in the light of the patient’s medical condition, it would not be reasonable in all the circumstances for the patient to wait for the services required until the next time at which the patient could obtain such services during core hours.

Standards for out of hours services

11.  From 1st January 2005, a contractor which provides out of hours services must, in the provision of such services, meet the quality standards set out from time to time in guidance which has been issued to Health Boards by NHS Quality Improvement Scotland and notified in writing to the contractor by the Health Board.

Duty of co-operation in relation to additional, enhanced and out of hours services

12.—(1) A contractor which does not provide to its registered patients or to persons whom it has accepted as temporary residents—

(a)a particular additional service;

(b)a particular enhanced service; or

(c)out of hours services, either at all or in respect of some periods or some services,

shall comply with the requirements specified in sub-paragraph (2).

(2) The requirements referred to in sub-paragraph (1) are that the contractor shall—

(a)co-operate, insofar as it is reasonable, with any person responsible for the provision of that service or those services;

(b)comply in core hours with any reasonable request for information from such a person or from the Health Board relating to the provision of that service or those services; and

(c)in the case of out of hours services, take reasonable steps to ensure that any patient who contacts the practice premises during the out of hours period is provided with information about how to obtain services during that period.

(3) Nothing in this paragraph shall require a contractor whose contract does not include the provision of out of hours services to make itself available during the out of hours period.

Duty of co-operation in relation to additional, enhanced and out of hours services

13.  Where a contractor is to cease to be required to provide to its patients—

(a)a particular additional service;

(b)a particular enhanced service; or

(c)out of hours services, either at all or in respect of some periods or some services;

it shall comply with any reasonable request for information relating to the provision of that service or those services made by the Health Board or by any person with whom the Board intends to enter into a contract for the provision of such services.

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