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After section 45B of the 1977 Act insert—
(1)A Primary Care Trust may recognise a committee formed for its area, or for its area and that of one or more other Primary Care Trusts, which it is satisfied is representative of—
(a)the persons to whom subsection (2) applies; and
(b)the persons to whom subsection (3) applies.
(2)This subsection applies to every person who, under a general ophthalmic services contract entered into by him, is providing primary ophthalmic services in the area for which the committee is formed.
(3)This subsection applies to every optometrist not falling within subsection (2)—
(a)who is performing primary ophthalmic services in the area for which the committee is formed, whether under section 16CD(4)(a) above, or under a general ophthalmic services contract; and
(b)who has notified the Primary Care Trust that he wishes to be represented by the committee (and has not notified it that he wishes to cease to be so represented).
(4)A committee recognised under this section shall be called the Local Optical Committee for the area for which it is formed.
(5)Any such committee may delegate any of its functions, with or without restrictions or conditions, to sub-committees composed of members of that committee.
(6)Any such committee may co-opt persons not falling within subsection (2) or (3) on such terms as it thinks fit.
(7)Regulations may require a Primary Care Trust, in the exercise of its functions relating to primary ophthalmic services, to consult any committee recognised by it under this section on such occasions and to such extent as may be prescribed.
(8)A committee recognised under this section shall have such other functions as may be prescribed.
(9)A committee recognised under this section shall in respect of each year determine the amount of its administrative expenses for that year.
(10)A Primary Care Trust may—
(a)on the request of a committee recognised by it, allot to that committee such sums as it may determine for defraying the committee's administrative expenses; and
(b)deduct the amount of such sums from the remuneration of persons of whom it is representative under subsection (1)(a) under the general ophthalmic services contracts entered into by them with the Trust.
(11)References in this section to the administrative expenses of a committee include the travelling and subsistence allowances payable to its members.”
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