|ANNEX 2C - ROLE OF INDEPENDENT LAY CHAIRMAN AND THIRD PANEL MEMBER|
1. Health Boards are responsible for putting in place arrangements for holding lists of independent chairmen and lay panel members. Primary Care Trusts and Island Health Boards must liaise with Health Boards who are responsible for organising training of lay chairmen and panel members.
2. Health Boards should assist each other in finding an appropriate chairman and panel members where circumstances demand a wider trawl. Health Boards should organise the allocation of chairmen and members in a balanced independent way, so that no one person becomes regularly linked with a particular Trust or particular type of complaint.
The Chairman's Role
3. At the convening stage, the lay chairman should:
· provide the convener with support and advice; and
· keep a record of the part played at this stage.
4. When appointed to a panel, the independent lay chairman, with appropriate administrative support, will be responsible for ensuring that:
· all panel members have a clear understanding of the panel's terms
· arranging and chairing all meetings of the panel;
· ensuring that members and assessors have all necessary documents;
· ensuring reasonable records of the panel proceedings are kept.
5. The independent lay chairman is responsible, in consultation with the other panel members, for:
· deciding how the panel will conduct its business:
· arranging meetings with the complainant and complained against and ensuring that, if appropriate, at least one assessor is present;
· discussing the required format of their report with assessors;
· leading the panel in drafting its report:
¨ setting out the agreed conclusions and findings; and any comments or recommendations; and
¨ ensuring no recommendation relates to disciplinary matters;
· circulating the draft report to the complainant and complained against
to check factual accuracy.
6. The independent lay chairman is responsible for finalising the report and sending the report to the Chief Executive of the Primary Care Trust and Island Health Boards who should circulate it according to his instructions. The usual format would be:
· the patient if a different person from the complainant and alive and competent to receive it;
· complained against;
· the panel members;
· the clinical assessors;
receive the final report (including the clinical assessors' summary report and the confidential annex).
A copy of the final report, (including the assessors' summary report but not the confidential annex) should also be sent to:
· any person named in the complaint;
· any person interviewed by the panel at the Chairman's discretion;
· the Primary Care Trust's and Island Health Boards' Chairmen and Chief Executive;
· the Chairman and Chief Executive of the independent provider where the complaint is about services provided by the independent sector;
· the Mental Welfare Commission, if the complaint involves someone with mental illness or learning disability.
8. Where there is disagreement within the panel, the independent lay chairman's decision will be final.
The role of the panel member
9. The third panel member must:
· seek to resolve the complaint in a fair and impartial manner;
· work under the terms of reference laid down for the panel;
· consider the information gleaned from reports and interviews in a fair and unbiased way;
· consider the assessors' advice on clinical matters;
· contribute to the development of appropriate ways of working to gain information from interviewees;
· contribute with the other panel members to the completion of the report.
10. All panel members should have access to the guidance contained in the booklet 'Independent Review - A Training and Information Pack for Independent Review Panel Members'3
3 NHS Management Executive, HMSO Scotland Dd J65247/96 (134770)
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