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Health Act 1999

The National Health Service (Primary Care) Act 1997

38.The Primary Care Act introduced a new option for the delivery of family health services. Personal medical services (PMS) and personal dental services (PDS) may be provided under agreements known (in the initial stage at least) as “pilot schemes”. These agreements are made between the Health Authority and one or more of the persons listed in section 2(2) or section 3(2) of the Primary Care Act, which includes NHS trusts, GPs, and NHS employees. Pilot schemes allow PMS and PDS (essentially the same as GMS and GDS) to be provided under the Part I system. The Health Authority funds the services provided under a pilot scheme from its cash-limited allocation under section 97(3).

39.These provisions allow PMS and PDS to be provided otherwise than through the regulatory system of Part II of the 1977 Act. They enable Health Authorities to agree with pilot providers locally the content of the services and the conditions under which those services will be provided. The Primary Care Act also included provision for a permanent regime (under sections 28C and 28D of the 1977 Act, as inserted by section 21 of the Primary Care Act).

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