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The National Health Service (Primary Medical Services Section 17C Agreements) (Scotland) Regulations 2018

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Local resolution of contract disputes – Local Dispute Resolution Process

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56.—(1) For the purposes of this paragraph—

“local medical committee” means a local representative committee which represents the interests of general medical practitioners providing primary medical services in its locality and which is identified and recognised by the British Medical Association as a local medical committee on the British Medical Association’s website(1) as updated or replaced from time to time;

“local resolution approved mediator” means a mediator who is on the list of trained mediators kept in accordance with sub-paragraph (2) by the Health Board (“the first Health Board”)(other than the Health Board who is a party to the agreement (“the Second Health Board”)) which is requested by the Second Health Board to appoint a local resolution panel and which mediator is chosen by the local resolution panel in accordance with sub-paragraph (6);

“local resolution approved mediator functions” means the functions of—

(a)

facilitating, co-ordinating and mediating communication between the parties to a dispute arising out of or in connection with an agreement with a view to helping the parties to reach a voluntary resolution to their dispute;

(b)

assisting the parties to explore options for negotiating a resolution to the dispute; and

(c)

providing recommendations to facilitate resolution of the dispute arising out of or in connection with an agreement and reporting to the area medical committee, the local resolution panel and the parties to the dispute in accordance with sub-paragraph (9).

“local resolution panel” means a committee or a subcommittee of the first Health Board appointed by the first Health Board at the request of the second Health Board which must consist of—

(a)

a person representative of patients in the area of the second Health Board;

(b)

a person representative of the local medical committee, in the area of the second Health Board;

(c)

a person who is an employee of the first Health Board;

“local resolution report” means the written report provided by a local resolution approved mediator in accordance with sub-paragraph (9).

(2) Every Health Board will keep a list of local resolution approved mediators who are also employees of the Health Board or available to be engaged by the Health Board and who the Health Board is satisfied are capable of performing the local resolution approved mediator functions.

(3) In the case of any dispute arising out of or in connection with the agreement—

(a)the provider and the first Health Board must make every reasonable effort to communicate and co-operate with each other with a view to resolving the dispute in accordance with the local dispute resolution process, before referring the dispute for determination in accordance with the NHS dispute resolution procedure (or, where applicable, before commencing court proceedings);

(b)neither the provider nor the first Health Board may refer the dispute for determination in accordance with the NHS dispute resolution procedure (or, where applicable, before commencing court proceedings) until the local dispute resolution process has been completed.

(4) Either party to the agreement may commence the local dispute resolution process by serving written notice on—

(a)the other party to the agreement; and

(b)the area medical committee for the second Health Board’s area.

(5) The written notice referred to out in sub-paragraph (4) must set out—

(a)the issue in dispute which must arise out of or be in connection with the agreement;

(b)contact details for the parties to the agreement; and

(c)any background information which may be reasonably required by a local resolution approved mediator to perform their functions.

(6) Upon receipt of the notice referred to in sub-paragraph (4)—

(a)the Second Health Board must request that the First Health Board convene a local resolution panel; and

(b)that local resolution panel must choose from the list of local resolution approved mediators a local resolution approved mediator whom the panel considers capable of performing the local resolution approved mediator functions in relation to the dispute.

(7) The parties must provide the local resolution approved mediator and each other with any information which may reasonably be required to facilitate the resolution of the dispute and to enable the local resolution approved mediator to perform their local resolution approved mediator functions.

(8) The local resolution approved mediator must complete their local resolution approved mediator functions within three months from service of the notice referred to in sub-paragraph (4).

(9) Within the period specified in sub-paragraph (8), the local resolution approved mediator must provide a written report to the parties, the area medical committee and the local resolution panel referred to in sub-paragraph (4) which sets out the following—

(a)any agreement reached between the parties;

(b)the local resolution approved mediator’s recommendation on how to resolve any issues still in dispute; and

(c)confirmation that the local dispute resolution process has been completed.

(10) The local resolution report may be considered by the Scottish Ministers in the event that either party wishes to refer the dispute to the Scottish Ministers for determination in accordance with paragraphs 57 or 58.

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