Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Fifteenth Report

Note from the Department of Health


1 The Department in most instances agrees with the points identified by the Committee and undertakes to amend the regulations at the first available opportunity.

2 The Department considers that in relation to the following paragraphs (which follow the Committee's numbering) the provisions give effect to the intention and should not therefore give rise to any difficulty of interpretation.

(3) The Department intended the six month period to cover the period of six months preceding the Health Authority's consideration of the application, so considers "has" is correctly used.

(5) The Department agrees the regulation is complex but considers the meaning is clear.

(10) The Department agrees that the only person to whom the italicised words could reasonably refer is the first mentioned practitioner, and accordingly this should not give rise to any difficulty in practice.

(13) The Department considers that the ending of the period of suspension mentioned in regulation 7B(1)(d) and (e) is the relevant event referred to in regulation 7B(2) and (4).

(14) The Department's intention was that the application be updated within 28 days of the date of the notification to the practitioner. The Department acknowledges it should have been specified and will amend the provision at the first available opportunity. The additional information required is anything that has changed since the original application was made, such as a change of address, additional qualification, or a new conviction. Guidance advises Health Authorities to request the practitioner to confirm the details in the original application are correct and update them where necessary.

(15) The Department agrees that the reference to "identifying details" is not entirely clear, but this is explained more fully in guidance issued to Health Authorities.

(20) Regulation 9B(4)(a) refers to a specific fraud (as defined in s.49F(3) of the National Health Service Act 1977, as inserted by s.25 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001), giving rise to consideration of removal. Regulation 9B(4)(c) is intended to include other incidents of fraud cases (not within sub-paragraph (a)) and any other criminal offences, and does therefore cover additional matters.

(28) The Department considers that the words quoted are necessary to assist understanding of the provision by the reader and closely follow the enabling power.

(31) There is a mechanism for dealing with cases where consent is not given, because the requirement that consent be given is a term of service, breach of which is a disciplinary matter under the National Health Service (Service Committees and Tribunal) Regulations 1992/ 664. The Department does agree, however, that the words "the contractor referred to in sub-paragraph (5)" are redundant and undertakes to remove those words at the first available opportunity.

(32) The Department considers that although the employment referred to in new paragraph 6A(4)(h) might be included in the meaning of sub-paragraphs (f) and (g), it is clearer to the reader to specify it separately.

3 On the loose drafting points -

(1) The Department agrees this could have been better expressed but considers the intention is clear.

(7) The Department considers the matters set out are clearly matters which the Health Authority must consider before making a decision and they should in practice give rise to no difficulty.

(9) The Department agrees this could have been better expressed but considers the intention is clear.

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