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Session 1999-2000
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Suspension of Hospital Medical Practitioners Bill [H.L.]

This is the Suspension of Hospital Medical Practitioners Bill [H.L.], as introduced in the House of Lords on 22nd February 2000.

 
 
  
Suspension of Hospital Medical Practitioners Bill [H.L.]
 
 
 
 
ARRANGEMENT OF CLAUSES
Clause 
1.Suspension of practitioners.
2.Right to appeal to NHS Trust against suspension.
3.Exclusion from NHS Trust premises.
4.Sections 1 and 3: procedure etc.
5.Interpretation.
6.Short title, commencement and extent.
 


 

 
 
A

B I L L

TO

Make provision for new procedures for the suspension of hospital medical practitioners.

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-
 

Suspension of practitioners.     1. - (1) A National Health Service Trust (referred to in this Act as an "NHS Trust") may only suspend a practitioner if that Trust has followed the procedures set out below.
 
      (2) The Chief Executive of the NHS Trust shall be responsible for deciding whether to suspend a practitioner and must make such a decision without delay.
 
      (3) Before making a decision to suspend, the Chief Executive shall consult-
 
 
    (a) appropriate practising clinicians and external advisers; and
 
    (b) any other appropriate persons as he sees fit.
      (4) Before making a decision to suspend, the Chief Executive shall also-
 
 
    (a) consider appropriate alternatives to suspension, and
 
    (b) satisfy himself that suspension is required in order to protect the interests of patients, staff and the practitioner himself.
      (5) If the Chief Executive makes a decision to suspend, he shall inform the suspended practitioner in writing and without delay of the reason for the suspension.
 
      (6) If the Chief Executive makes a decision to suspend, he shall as soon as is practicable, notify his decision to-
 
 
    (a) the National Health Service Executive, who shall be responsible for monitoring the continuation of that suspension, and
 
    (b) where appropriate, any private hospital where the suspended practitioner has admitting rights.
      (7) The Chief Executive shall review the suspension at least once each calendar month excluding any period when an appeal under section 2 is pending in accordance with subsections (3) to (6) above.
 
      (8) A decision to suspend under this section shall cease to have effect one month after the day on which the decision to suspend was taken unless, within that period, the Chief Executive invokes disciplinary proceedings against a practitioner and has informed the practitioner of the reason for the proceedings.
 
Right to appeal to NHS Trust against suspension.     2. - (1) A suspended practitioner may, within one month of the decision to suspend, appeal to the appeal body in subsection (2) against the decision of the Chief Executive.
 
      (2) The Chief Executive of the NHS Trust must establish an appeal body in accordance with subsection (3) below.
 
      (3) The appeal body shall consist of-
 
 
    (a) an assessor appointed by the NHS Trust (and approved by the Local Negotiating Committee), and
 
    (b) an assessor appointed by the Local Negotiating Committee (and approved by the NHS Trust).
      (4) The appeal body must, within two weeks of an appeal being made by a suspended practitioner, report to the Chief Executive of the NHS Trust whether or not to reject the appeal and if the appeal is accepted, the decision to suspend shall be overturned.
 
      (5) A decision to suspend shall remain in force while the appeal body is considering the appeal.
 
Exclusion from NHS Trust premises.     3. - (1) If the Chief Executive of the NHS Trust decides to suspend a practitioner in accordance with section 1 above, he shall also decide whether the person to whom the suspension relates should be excluded from the Trust premises.
 
      (2) In making a decision whether to exclude under subsection (1) above, the Chief Executive must consider-
 
 
    (a) whether the practitioner presents any danger to other staff of the hospital,
 
    (b) whether the practitioner may seek to tamper with any evidence which could subsequently be used in any subsequent disciplinary procedures against him,
 
    (c) any other factors he considers appropriate.
      (3) On making a decision to exclude under subsection (1) above, the Chief Executive of an NHS Trust must, as soon as is practicable, notify his decision to the practitioner concerned.
 
Sections 1 and 3: procedure etc.     4. - (1) Before making a report under section 2(4), the appeal body shall,

 give the practitioner an opportunity-

 
    (a) to appear before it, either in person or by counsel or solicitor or such other representative as may be prescribed by the appeal body, and
 
    (b) to be heard and to call witnesses and produce other evidence.
      (2) Regulations made by the Secretary of State may-
 
 
    (a) make provision for procedure in relation to determining applications under section 1 and appeals under section 2 above, and
 
    (b) provide for the functions of the Chief Executive under sections 1 to 3 to be carried out, or to be carried out in prescribed circumstances, by a prescribed deputy.
Interpretation.     5. In this Act "practitioner" means a hospital medical practitioner working in a hospital under a contract of employment with an NHS Trust.
 
Short title, commencement and extent.     6. - (1) This Act may be cited as the Suspension of Hospital Medical Practitioners Act 2000.
 
      (2) This Act shall come into force on such day as the Secretary of State may by order made by statutory instrument appoint.
 
      (3) This Act extends to England and Wales only.
 
 

 
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Prepared 23 February 2000