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The National Health Service (Primary Medical Services Section 17C Agreements) (Scotland) Regulations 2004

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Closure of lists of patients

21.—(1) A provider which wishes to close its list of patients shall notify the Health Board in writing to that effect.

(2) Within a period of 7 days beginning with the date of receipt of the notification referred to in sub-paragraph (1), or, if that is not reasonably practicable, as soon as is practicable thereafter, the Health Board shall enter into discussions with the provider concerning the support which the Health Board may give the provider, or other changes which the Health Board or the provider may make, which would enable the provider to keep its list of patients open.

(3) In the discussions referred to in sub-paragraph (2) both parties shall use reasonable endeavours to achieve the aim of keeping the provider’s list of patients open.

(4) The discussions mentioned in sub-paragraph (2) shall be completed within a period of 28 days beginning with the date of the Health Board’s receipt of the notification referred to in sub paragraph (1), or within such longer period as the parties may agree.

(5) If, following the discussions mentioned in sub-paragraph (2), the Health Board and the provider reach agreement that the provider’s list of patients should remain open, the Health Board shall send full details of the agreement in writing to the provider.

(6) The Health Board and the provider shall comply with the terms of an agreement reached as mentioned in sub-paragraph (5).

(7) If, following the discussions mentioned in sub-paragraph (2)–

(a)the Health Board and the provider reach agreement that the provider’s list of patients should close; or

(b)the Health Board and the provider fail to reach agreement and the provider still wishes to close the provider’s list of patients,

the provider shall send a closure notice to the Health Board.

(8) A closure notice shall be submitted in the form specified in Schedule 5, and shall include the following details which (in a case falling within sub-paragraph (7)(a)) have been agreed between the parties or (in a case falling within sub-paragraph (7)(b)) are proposed by the provider:–

(a)the period of time (which may not exceed 12 months) for which the provider’s list of patients will be closed;

(b)the current number of the provider’s registered patients;

(c)the number of registered patients (lower than the current number of such patients, and expressed either in absolute terms or as a percentage of the number of such patients specified pursuant to paragraph (b)) which, if that number were reached, would trigger the re-opening of the provider’s list of patients;

(d)the number of registered patients (expressed either in absolute terms or as a percentage of the number of such patients specified pursuant to paragraph (b)) which, if that number were reached, would trigger the re-closure of the provider’s list of patients; and

(e)any withdrawal or reduction in provision of any additional or enhanced services which had previously been provided under the agreement.

(9) The Health Board shall forthwith acknowledge receipt of the closure notice in writing to the provider.

(10) Before the Health Board reaches a decision as to whether to approve or reject the closure notice under sub-paragraph (12), the Health Board and the provider may enter into further discussions concerning the details of the closure notice as specified in sub-paragraph (8), with a view to reaching agreement; and, in particular, if the parties are unable to reach agreement regarding the period of time for which the provider’s list of patients will be closed, that period shall be 12 months.

(11) A provider may not withdraw a closure notice for a period of 3 months beginning with the date on which the Health Board has received the notice, unless the Health Board has agreed otherwise in writing.

(12) Within a period of 14 days beginning with the date of receipt of the closure notice, the Health Board shall–

(a)approve the closure notice; or

(b)reject the closure notice,

and shall notify the provider of its decision in writing as soon as possible.

(13) Approval of the closure notice under sub-paragraph (12)(a) includes approval of the details specified in accordance with sub-paragraph (8) (or, where those details are revised following discussions under sub-paragraph (10), approval of those details as so revised).

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