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General Ophthalmic Services Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2007

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Appeals against decisions of Ophthalmic Qualifications Committee

7.—(1) Any person dissatisfied with a decision of the Ophthalmic Qualifications Committee that he is not qualified to be an ophthalmic medical practitioner may within one month from and including the date on which he received notice of that decision, or such longer period as the Department may at any time allow, appeal against the decision by sending to the Department a notice of appeal stating the facts and contentions on which he relies.

(2) The Department shall —

(a)appoint to determine the appeal an appeal committee of five persons of whom at least three shall be appointed after consultation with such bodies or organisations representing doctors as appear to it to be concerned;

(b)refer the appeal to that appeal committee;

(c)send a copy of the notice of appeal to the Ophthalmic Qualifications Committee and to such other persons as may appear to it to be interested in the appeal; and

(d)inform the appellant, the Ophthalmic Qualifications Committee, the Agency and any such other persons that the appeal has been referred to an appeal committee and of the address to which communications to the appeal committee shall be sent.

(3) The appeal committee may, and if requested to do so by the appellant or the Ophthalmic Qualifications Committee shall, hold a hearing in connection with an appeal at such time and place as they may direct; notice of the hearing shall, not less than fourteen days before the date of the hearing, be sent by the recorded delivery service to the appellant, the Ophthalmic Qualifications Committee, and any other person to whom the Department has under paragraph (2) sent notice of the appeal.

(4) Either the appellant or the Ophthalmic Qualifications Committee may within one month of being informed that the appeal has been referred to an appeal committee, or of being informed that a hearing of such appeal will be held, give notice of a wish to appear before the appeal committee.

(5) The Ophthalmic Qualifications Committee shall be entitled to appear by a member or by their clerk or other officer duly appointed for the purpose; the appellant shall be entitled to appear in person, by any member of his family, by any friend, or by any officer or member of any organisation of which he is a member; and any party to an appeal shall be entitled to appear and be heard by counsel or solicitor.

(6) Subject to the preceding provisions of this regulation, the procedure of the appeal committee in determining the appeal shall be such as it thinks proper.

(7) An appeal committee shall have all the powers of the Ophthalmic Qualifications Committee, including in particular the power of approval, and if satisfied that an appellant possesses the qualifications prescribed by regulation 5 it shall so determine and accordingly he shall be an ophthalmic medical practitioner.

(8) The appeal committee shall as soon as practicable notify its decision to the appellant, the Ophthalmic Qualifications Committee, the Agency, the Department and any other person to whom the Department has under paragraph (2) sent notice of the appeal.

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