Section G2: Health Professions
Purpose and Effect
This Section reserves the regulation of the health professions.
Details of Provisions
This reserves the regulation of the health professions. This includes professional qualifications, eligibility to practice and control over standards of professional competence and conduct. This does not reserve matters such as the pay and conditions of service of the health professions within the National Health Service in Scotland or their deployment and management.
Health professions are defined for the purposes of this reservation in the interpretation paragraph as meaning the professions regulated by various enactments. The professions regulated by the specified enactments include doctors, dentists, dental auxiliaries, opticians, pharmacists, nurses, midwives, health visitors, chiropodists, dieticians, physiotherapists, medical laboratory scientific officers, orthoptists, prosthetists and orthotists, arts therapists, occupational therapists, radiographers, osteopaths, chiropractors and veterinary surgeons.
There is excepted from the reservation, the subject matter of:
section 21 of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978. This enables the Scottish Parliament to legislate about the matter of what vocational training and experience is required to be possessed by doctors before they can provide general medical services in the NHS. This is a matter which is regulated by section 21 This exception is in line with the overall devolution of Health Service matters; and
section 25 of that Act. Similarly, this section gives the Scottish Parliament legislative competence to regulate the provision of general dental services for the NHS so far as that relates to vocational training and disciplinary proceedings. This is part of the subject-matter of section 25.
The following functions have been included in the Scotland Act 1998 (Transfer of Functions to the Scottish Ministers etc.) Order 1999 (S.I. 1999/1750).
The Medical Act 1983 (c.54), Schedule 4, paragraph 7.
The function of the Secretary of State of making rules as to the functions of assessors appointed to advise the Professional Conduct Committee, the Health Committee and the Preliminary Proceedings Committee.
The Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors Act 1997 (c.24):
section 19(5); and
The function of the Secretary of State* and the Lord Chancellor to approve, by order, rules under section 10 which apply to proceedings in Scotland.
Schedule 2, paragraph 4.
The function of the Secretary of State and the Lord Chancellor to make, by order, provision with regard to the functions of assessors relative to proceedings in Scotland.
The following functions have been included in the Scotland Act 1998 (Transfer of Functions to the Scottish Ministers etc.) Order 2000 (S.I. 2000/1563).
The Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors Act 1997 (c.24).
Sections 5(2), (3), (5), (6), (7), (8) and (9), 6(1)(e), 17(1) and (3), 18(1) and (6) and 24(4).
All Ministerial functions under the Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors Act 1997 in relation to the National Board for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting for Scotland are transferred. The functions concerned are:-
Audit arrangements were also amended by article 8 of S.I. 2000/1563
Advice to The Queen
Special arrangements for giving advice to The Queen were described in a Prime Ministerial answer on 30 June 1999 (WA col 215) and an associated paper deposited in the House of Commons Library.
Under the Professions Supplementary to Medicine Act 1960, the Privy Council makes a determination approving courses and qualifications for state registration purposes in the fields of professions supplementary to medicine. By convention the Secretary of State for Scotland was one of the three Privy Counsellors required by the Act to approve courses run by Scottish institutions. The role of the Secretary of State for Scotland in relation to such courses has passed to the First Minister.
The Secretary of State for Scotland also had a role in relation to nominating Privy Council appointments of Scottish representatives to various statutory bodies relating to the health professions, such as the General Medical Council, the General Dental Council and the General Optical Council. The First Minister has taken over the Secretary of State for Scotland’s role in nominating Privy Council appointments of Scottish representatives to these bodies. Advice and nominations for the other Privy Council appointments to these bodies comes from the Secretary of State for Health. Administrative arrangements have been put in place to provide for consultation between the Scottish Ministers and the Secretary of State for Health before either party puts forward nominations to the Privy Council.