Chapter 1: Introduction
The providers of independent health care in Scotland and the UK are many and varied, and the complexity of this area of health care provision continues to increase. The Scottish Government wishes to ensure that independent health care services provided in Scotland are effectively regulated. We want this to reflect the current landscape of provision, which includes a number of services provided online. It is also important that this regulation is self-funding. The way independent health care is regulated needs to be updated and we ran a new consultation to seek views as to whether further change is needed and how it should happen.
We made the following three proposals, which would be actioned by amending provisions in the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978 that cover Healthcare Improvement Scotland's regulation of independent health care services:
1. Enable Healthcare Improvement Scotland to regulate independent health care services provided by pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, which are not provided under the terms of an NHS contract or from non-General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) registered premises.
2. Enable Healthcare Improvement Scotland to regulate independent medical agencies providing health care services which consist of or include the provision of services by a medical practitioner, dental practitioner, registered nurse, registered midwife, dental care professional, pharmacist, or pharmacy technician. This would include independent medical agencies operating entirely online. However, services provided by either a pharmacist or pharmacy technician in pharmacy premises registered with the GPhC or a nurse agency regulated by the Care Inspectorate (officially known as Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland) would be exempt.
3. Enable Healthcare Improvement Scotland to cancel the registration of any independent health care service where there has been a failure to pay continuation fees.
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