Protecting the public
We have lodged four appeals at the High Court since our last newsletter in relation to decisions made by the regulators’ fitness to practise panels that we think were too lenient. Two appeals concern Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) panel decisions, the third concerns a General Medical Council (GMC) panel decision and the fourth concerns a General Pharmaceutical Council(GPhC) decision.
In the last 3 months we have also successfully appealed three regulators’ panel decisions at the High Court. Two of those successful appeals concerned NMC panel decisions and the other concerned a Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) panel decision. You may be interested to read this summary produced by a legal firm. Click here.
Health Committee hearings
In November, we submitted our evidence to the Health Committee on the performance of the General Medical Council and the Nursing and Midwifery Council, ahead of their accountability hearings. This is part of the Committee’s arrangement to work more closely with the Professional Standards Authority, that was announced its response to the Francis Report.
The GMC appeared before the Committee on 6th January, and the NMC on 13th. You can listen to them here.
Audits of the initial stages of the regulators’ fitness to practise processes
We audited cases closed by 5 of the regulators during summer 2014. The reports from our audits of the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and from the General Dental Council (GDC) have been published since the date of our last newsletter, and are available from our website. The remaining two reports will be published on our website once they have been finalised.
Performance Review 2014/15
The performance review is our annual check on how the health and care regulators have performed in the four regulatory functions: Guidance and Standards, Education and Training, Registration and Fitness to Practise. We ask the regulators to provide evidence of how they have performed, we then analyse, discuss, challenge this evidence both within the Authority and with the regulators before reporting on our views of its performance. This report is laid before Parliament and the devolved administrations. Further information on the performance review can be found at
Annual Performance Review
Thank you to everyone who responded to our invitation to contribute their feedback about the regulators to our performance review for 2014/15. We are in the process of analysing all the information we have received, including your contributions.
We continue to be busy with scrutiny work in relation to appointments to regulators’ councils. Since the publication of the last newsletter, we have advised the Privy Council in relation to the appointments processes run by four of the regulators that we oversee. We are currently in the process of scrutinising four further appointments processes.
Director of Scrutiny and Quality