§ 49.—(1) The first Chairman of the General Council shall be appointed by the Privy Council from among the lay members to serve as such until the end of the first meeting of the Council to be held after the first election of members under paragraph 1(a).
§ (2) If a person appointed as Chairman of the Council during the three year transitional period fails to serve his full term of office as Chairman, his successor as Chairman shall be appointed by the Privy Council from among the lay members for the residue of the unexpired term.
(3) Paragraph 14(3) shall have effect in relation to any Chairman appointed by the Privy Council under this paragraph as if for paragraph (c) there were substituted—
(c) his removal by the Privy Council, where the Privy Council agrees to a request for his removal made by a majority of the other members of the General Council;".
§ (4) Paragraph 14(3)(d) shall not apply in relation to any person serving as the Chairman appointed by the Privy Council under this paragraph.'.
§ Mr. Moss
The amendments provide transitional arrangements for the establishment of the first general council. These are important provisions, which I know are of particular interest to the osteopathic profession. The statutory scheme must provide the profession, in the form of its general council, with the means to realise its objectives. For that reason, 12 out of the proposed 24 members of the general osteopathic council will be fully registered osteopaths elected by the profession. Eight of the remaining members will be non-osteopaths appointed by the Privy Council. Those members will represent wider 439 interests and, in particular, the views of patients. That will help to increase the breadth of experience within the general council and ensure that the profession has a firm and balanced basis from which to develop in the future.
The other four members of the general council will have specific responsibilities for education and training and one will be nominated by the Secretary of State with the other three being appointed by the education committee. The balance of different members is mirrored in all other statutory regulatory schemes and the scheme itself, like all its counterparts, will be overseen by the Privy Council.
It is not possible for the arrangements in the schedule to apply for the first general council because, at the outset of the scheme, there will be no registered osteopaths either to be elected or to vote. Nor will there be an education committee to appoint the three members of the general council concerned with education and training. Special transitional arrangements must be provided to cover the early years. Those arrangements form the substance of amendment No. 45.
There are a number of keys to understanding how the transitional arrangements will work. The first is that all the initial osteopathic lay and educational members of the general council will be appointed by the Privy Council. That is in keeping with the practice followed in the establishment of other statutory schemes and was endorsed by the working party in its report. To ensure that the general council will reflect a balance of good professional opinion, experience and practice, the initial osteopathic members will be appointed after consultation with those bodies that administer the current scheme of voluntary registration. However, the individuals will not be representative of any particular organisation. Nor will they be beholden to any sector interest. They will, instead, be selected on the basis of their individual ability and merit and, in effect, be ambassadors to the profession as a whole.
The second key is the specific identification and linking of the initial osteopathic members, lay members, education members and the Secretary of State's nominee, mentioned under the third heading of the schedule and described under the general council members in paragraph 1. That is an important key. Without it, the establishment of the statutory committee would be thrown into confusion. For example, because all but one of the initial members of the general council are to be appointed by the Privy Council, to which three members of the general council appointed by the Privy Council is paragraph 25(b) referring?
The third key is that the transitional arrangements are primarily concerned with putting the osteopathic members in place. Once the ball for the appointment of other members of the general council is set rolling, they should be able to look after themselves.
The final key is that the initial education members will be appointed in the first instance as members of the general council and their membership of the education committee then follows as a consequence. That is the same principle as will apply, with the possible exception of any co-opted members, in respect of the other members of the education committee—that is, membership of the education committee will flow from a person's membership of the general council.
The transitional arrangements also provide for the initial term of office held by the osteopath members, the education members and the lay members to be three, four or five years respectively. That gives effect to the working party's recommendation to provide 440opportunities for gradual change in the membership of the General Council whilst ensuring continuity of experience and expertise by staggering the terms of office of the three groups.12.30 pm
All that provides a broad-brush picture of the transitional arrangements. However, there are a couple of finer brush strokes that I wish to mention. The first concerns the definition of lay members. Paragraph 11(1)(b) of the schedule describes them as personswho are not registered osteopaths.At the outset of the scheme, however, there will be no registered osteopaths. To clarify who is eligible to be an initial lay member, the transitional arrangements describe it as those persons appearing to the Privy Council as not to be practising osteopaths.
The second brush stroke concerns the education members and the Secretary of State's nominee. The education members are to be persons qualified to advise the general council on matters relating to education and training in osteopathy. The Secretary of State's nominee is to be a person qualified to advise the general council on matters relating to professional education. Those criteria are also intended to apply to their successors and form the subject of amendments Nos. 39 to 41, which we shall discuss later.
The first chairman of the general council will be appointed by the Privy Council from among the lay members and will serve until the first meeting of the council following the first election of the osteopath members, which is three years after the day on which the register is opened. At that meeting, the council must elect a new chairman from among its membership. Again, those arrangements follow the recommendations in the working party's report.
The transitional arrangements will provide the establishment of the first general council in accordance with the recommendations of the King's Fund working party. I commend the amendment to the House.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. Moss
I beg to move amendment No. 31, in page 29, line 5, leave out subsection (7) and insert—'(7) This Act extends to the United Kingdom except that—This is a technical amendment to the extant provisions of the Bill.
- (a) section 37(2) and section (Data protection and access to personal health information) (I)' extend only to Great Britain;
- (b) section (Data protection and access to personal health information) (2)(c) and (e) extends only to Scotland;
- (c) section 37(3) extends only to Northern Ireland; and
- (d) section (Data protection and access to personal health information) (2)(b) and (d) extends only to England and Wales.'.
§ Amendment agreed to.