Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Twenty-Sixth Report



APPENDIX IV

Memorandum by the Scottish Executive Health Department

NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE (GENERAL MEDICAL SERVICES) (SCOTLAND) AMENDMENT (NO. 3) REGULATIONS 1999 (S.I. 1999/1620)

    The Committee considered the above instrument at its meeting on 7 July 1999 and has requested the Department to submit a memorandum on the following points:

      (1)  As footnote (b) to regulation 1(2) indicates, the 1995 Regulations have already been amended ten times. Indicate whether a consolidation is planned, and if so on what timescale.

      (2)  Footnotes (b), (c) and (d) on the first page of this instrument identify in each case a large number of earlier instruments (amending regulations of 1995, 1989 and 1988 respectively). Indicate which of the earlier listed instruments are "relevant" in relation to the provisions of this instrument and explain why (having regard to the Statutory Instrument Practice, paragraph 2.66) the footnotes are not limited to these.

      (3)  New paragraph 29B(1) of Schedule 1 to the 1995 Regulations (as inserted by regulation 2) requires a doctor, in the circumstances here set out, to "request" any person making a relevant declaration on a prescription form. Explain what the subject matter of the request is intended to be and, if words have been omitted from the sub-paragraph which are required to complete the sense, what the omitted words are.

The Department would answer the points raised as follows:

  1. The Department plans to consolidate the 1995 Regulations when a suitable opportunity arises which the Department anticipates will be next year.

  2. Footnote (b) on the first page of this instrument refers to earlier instruments which amended the National Health Service (General Medical Services) (Scotland) Regulations 1995. The Department considers that the footnote correctly refers to earlier instruments which amended the 1995 Regulations. However, the Department accepts that in relation to regulation 2 of this instrument, a footnote should have been added to refer to S.I.1996/1504 which inserted paragraph 29A into Schedule 1 to the 1995 Regulations.

  3. Footnote (c) on the first page of this instrument refers to earlier instruments which amended the National Health Service (Charges for Drugs and Appliances) (Scotland) Regulations 1989. The following earlier instruments are relevant in relation to the provision of this instrument: S.I. 1990/468, 1991/574 and 1995/2739. The footnote should therefore have read:

"S.I. 1989/326, relevant amending instruments are S.I.1990/468 and 1995/2739."

  4. Footnote (d) on the first page of this instrument refers to earlier instruments which amended the National Health Service (Travelling Expenses and Remission of Charges) (Scotland) Regulations 1988. The Department considers that all the instruments listed in the footnote are relevant as they amended the provisions in the 1988 Regulations with regard to charge remission as referred to in the text of the new paragraph 29B of Schedule 1 to the 1995 Regulations.

  5. In relation to the new paragraph 29B(1) of Schedule 1 to the 1995 Regulations, the subject matter of the request is evidence from the patient of his entitlement to exemption or remission from charges. The following words have been omitted from the sub-paragraph: "to provide evidence of the patient's entitlement to such exemption or remission". The Department apologises for this error. The error will be corrected in forthcoming Regulations which are to be laid before the Scottish Parliament in August this year. Guidance issued to practitioners in relation to the Regulations makes the intention of the provision clear. The Department has noted to make careful comparisons of drafts to avoid the possibility of similar errors in future instruments.

13 July 1999


 
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