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

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Amendment of Schedule 1 to the principal Regulations

8.—(1) Schedule 1 to the principal Regulations (terms of service for ophthalmic medical practitioners and opticians) shall be amended as follows.

(2) In paragraph 2 (incorporation of provisions) in sub-paragraph (b)—

(a)for “Part III of the National Health Service (Service Committees and Tribunal) (Scotland) Regulations 1974” substitute “the National Health Service (Service Committees and Tribunal) (Scotland) Regulations 1992”; and

(b)in head (i) for “ophthalmic service committee” substitute “ophthalmic discipline committee”.

(3) For paragraph 5 (Notices) substitute—

Notices

5.  A contractor shall secure that at each place at which he provides general ophthalmic services there is prominently displayed a notice and leaflet supplied or approved by the Board, indicating the services available under general ophthalmic services and indicating to which descriptions of his patients a payment may be made under the National Health Service (Optical Charges and Payments) (Scotland) Regulations 1989(1)..

(4) In paragraph 7 (deputies) in sub-paragraph (1), omit the words “disqualified under section 29 of the Act from inclusion in the ophthalmic list of any Board” and insert—

(a)who, having been disqualified under section 29(3)(b) of the Act (or under any corresponding provision in force in England and Wales or Northern Ireland) from inclusion in the ophthalmic list of any Board (or in England and Wales of a Health Authority or in Northern Ireland of a Health and Social Services Board), is also the subject of a declaration under section 29(3)(c)(2) of the Act (or any corresponding provision in force in England and Wales or Northern Ireland) that he is not fit to be engaged in any capacity in the provision of general ophthalmic services; or

(b)who is suspended by direction of the Tribunal, other than in a case falling within section 32B(3) of the Act.

(5) In paragraph 8 (employees), for sub-paragraph (3) substitute—

(3) A contractor shall not employ in the provision of general ophthalmic services any person—

(a)who, having been disqualified under section 29(3)(b) of the Act (or under any corresponding provision in force in England and Wales or Northern Ireland) from inclusion in the ophthalmic list of any Board (or in England and Wales of a Health Authority or in Northern Ireland of a Health and Social Services Board), is also the subject of a declaration under section 29(3)(c) of the Act (or any corresponding provision in force in England and Wales or Northern Ireland) that he is not fit to be engaged in any capacity in the provision of general ophthalmic services; or

(b)who is suspended by direction of the Tribunal, other than in a case falling within section 32B(3) of the Act..

(6) After paragraph 8, insert the following new paragraphs:—

Complaints

8A.(1) Subject to sub-paragraphs (2) and (3), a contractor shall establish and operate in accordance with this paragraph, a procedure (in this paragraph and in paragraph 8B referred to as a “complaints procedure”) to deal with any complaints made by or on behalf of his patients and former patients.

(2) The complaints procedure to be established by a contractor may be such that it also deals with complaints made in relation to one or more other contractors.

(3) The complaints procedure to be established by a contractor who provides general ophthalmic services from more than one set of premises may be such that it relates to all those premises together.

(4) A complaints procedure shall apply to complaints made in relation to any matter reasonably connected with the contractor’s provision of general ophthalmic services and within the responsibility or control of—

(a)the contractor;

(b)where the contractor is a body corporate, any of its directors or former directors;

(c)a former partner of the contractor;

(d)any other person (being an optician, an ophthalmic medical practitioner or a person authorised to test sight by rules made under section 24(3) of the Opticians Act 1989(3)) who is either employed by the contractor or engaged as his deputy;

(e)any employee of the contractor other than one falling within paragraph (d), and in this paragraph and paragraph 8B, references to complaints are to complaints falling within this sub-paragraph.

(5) A complaint may be made on behalf of a patient or former patient with his consent, or—

(a)where the patient is a child under the age of 16 years—

(i)by either parent, or in the absence of both parents, the guardian or other adult person who has care of the child, or

(ii)in the care of an authority under Part II of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968(4), or in the care of a voluntary organisation, by that authority or voluntary organisation; or

(b)where the patient is incapable of making a complaint, by a relative or other adult person who has an interest in his welfare.

(6) Where a patient has died, a complaint may be made by a relative or other adult person who had an interest in his welfare or, where the patient was as described in head (a)(ii) of sub-paragraph (5), by the authority or voluntary organisation.

(7) A complaints procedure shall comply with the following requirements:—

(a)the contractor shall specify a person (who need not be connected with the contractor and who, in the case of an individual, may be specified by his job title) to be responsible for receiving and investigating all complaints;

(b)all complaints shall be—

(i)recorded in writing,

(ii)acknowledged, either orally or in writing, within the period of three days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and other public or local holidays agreed with the Board) beginning with the day on which the complaint was received by the person specified in head (a), or where that is not possible, as soon as reasonably practicable, and

(iii)properly investigated;

(c)within the period of 10 days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and any other public or local holidays agreed with the Board) beginning on the day on which the complaint was received by the person specified in head (a), or where that is not possible, as soon as reasonably practicable, the complainant shall be given a written summary of the investigation and its conclusions;

(d)where the investigation of the complaint requires consideration of the patient’s sight testing records, the person specified under head (a) shall inform the patient or person acting on his behalf if the investigation will involve disclosure of information contained in those records to a person other than the contractor, or a director, partner, deputy or employee of the contractor; and

(e)the contractor shall keep a record of all complaints and copies of all correspondence relating to complaints, but such records shall be kept separate from patients' sight testing records.

(8) At each of the premises at which the contractor provides general ophthalmic services he shall provide information about the complaints procedure which he operates and give the name (or title) and address of the person specified in sub-paragraph (7)(a).

8B.(1) A contractor shall cooperate with any investigation of a complaint by the Board in accordance with the procedures which it operates in accordance with directions given under section 2(5) of the Act(5), whether the investigation follows one under the contractor’s complaints procedure or not.

(2) The co-operation required by sub-paragraph (1) includes—

(a)answering questions reasonably put to the contractor by the Board;

(b)providing any information relating to the complaint reasonably required by the Board; and

(c)attending any meeting to consider the complaint (if held at a reasonably accessible place and at a reasonable hour, and due notice has been given), if the contractor’s presence at the meeting is reasonably required by the Board.

Complaints against ophthalmic medical practitioners

8C.(1) A contractor who, being an ophthalmic medical practitioner also provides general medical services, shall secure that the practice based complaints procedure he has established and operates in accordance with paragraph 12A of the doctors' terms of service(6) applies in relation to any matter reasonably connected with his provision of general ophthalmic services as it applies as respects his provision of general medical services.

(2) Paragraph 12B of those terms of service also applies in relation to such complaints as are mentioned in paragraph (1)..

(7) In paragraph 11 (use of disqualified name), in sub-paragraph (1), at the end insert “by virtue of the provisions of sections 30(1), 31, 32A(3), 32B(1) or 32D(2) of the Act.”.

(1)

1989/392, amended by S.I. 1990/509, 1991/534, 1731 and 2487, 1992/531, 1993/524, 1994/145 and 635, 1995/1, 705 and 2369.

(2)

Section 29(3)(c) was inserted by the National Health Service (Amendment) Act 1995 (c. 31), section 7.

(5)

Section 2(5) was amended by the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990 (c. 19), Schedule 9, paragraph 19(1).

(6)

See Schedule 1 of S.I. 1995/416. Paragraph 12A was inserted in Schedule 1 by S.I. 1996/842.

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