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Health and Social Care Act 2001

Section 20: Medical, dental, ophthalmic and pharmaceutical lists etc.

95.As indicated in the notes on section 19, Health Authorities are already required by Part 2 of the 1977 Act to maintain lists of all practitioners who provide GMS, GDS, GOS and PhS in their area. These are known respectively as the medical, dental, ophthalmic and pharmaceutical lists. Section 20 provides new powers for Health Authorities to refuse a practitioner admission to the appropriate list on the grounds of unsuitability, prejudice to efficiency or because of previous fraudulent behaviour.

96.Subsection (2) amends section 29A of the 1977 Act to provide for regulations requiring practitioners already included in the medical list to provide the Health Authority information of a prescribed description as well as criminal conviction or criminal record certificates under sections 112, 113 or 115 of the Police Act 1977.

97.Subsection (3)(a) amends section 29B of the 1977 Act to provide for regulations specifying when Health Authorities may, or must, refuse an application from a medical practitioner to fill a vacancy: for example, because the applicant is considered to be unsuitable to work in the provision of general medical services, because it is considered that the applicant’s inclusion in the list would be prejudicial to the efficiency of the service or because of the risk of the applicant’s fraudulent behaviour. It further allows regulations to be made specifying the information which an applicant must provide (or arrange to be provided) in support of the application, including the supply of a certificate provided under sections 112, 113 or 115 of the Police Act 1997. Regulations may provide for the disclosure by Health Authorities to prescribed persons of specified information about persons applying for inclusion in the medical list as well as refusals of such applications.

98.Subsection (3)(b) provides for the regulations to specify when a Health Authority may defer a decision to nominate or approve a medical practitioner for appointment to fill a vacancy.

99.Subsection (3)(c) provides for a right of appeal, by re-determination, to the Family Health Services Appeal Authority (FHSAA) against a decision by a Health Authority under its discretionary powers.

100.Subsections (4), (5), (6) and (7) provide for similar regulatory powers in respect of practitioners included, or applying for inclusion in, dental, ophthalmic, pharmaceutical and dispensing doctor lists.

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