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The National Health Service (General Ophthalmic Services) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 1996

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Explanatory Note

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These Regulations further amend the National Health Service (General Ophthalmic Services) (Scotland) Regulations 1986 (S.I. 1986/965) to make provision relating to ophthalmic medical practitioners and ophthalmic opticians (“contractors”) who have been suspended from the provision of general ophthalmic services by the NHS Tribunal or whom the Tribunal has declared not fit to be engaged in any capacity in the provision of those services. The Regulations also provide for payments to suspended contractors.

The Regulations also amend Schedule 1 of the 1986 Regulations (contractors' terms of service) as follows:—

1.  To prevent the employment, as an assistant or deputy, of any contractor suspended by the Tribunal who is also subject to a declaration by the Tribunal that he is not fit to be engaged in any capacity in the provision of general ophthalmic services.

2.  To stipulate that a contractor must display at each place where he provides general ophthalmic services a notice and leaflet (to be supplied or approved by the Health Board) giving patients information about the optical voucher scheme whereby eligible persons can obtain help, by means of a voucher system, with costs incurred in connection with the supply, replacement and repair of optical appliances.

3.  To require a contractor to establish and operate a system to deal with complaints. There is provision about who may complain, what they may complain about and how such complaints are to be dealt with and the publicity which a contractor must give to his complaints procedure. A contractor is also required to cooperate with complaints procedures which are operated by Health Boards.

The Regulations also make other minor amendments.

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