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Research and Policy

Research Conference
We are holding an academic research conference on 13 March 2015, at Cumberland Lodge, Windsor Great Park.  This will be an opportunity for academic researchers from a wide range of universities and those working in regulatory policy development to meet, to present current work programmes and to discuss potential areas for research in future.  Academic research which is relevant to regulation covers a wide range of disciplines, including psychology, economics, and law, all of which we hope will be represented.


In December we published a report on progress towards introducing a consistent approach to the professional duty to be candid when care goes wrong. The report was commissioned by the Secretary of State for Health and considers the regulators' progress up until November 2014 and their plans for further relevant work in 2015 and 2016. 

We concluded that there has been good co-operation between the regulators which has resulted in near consensus on a common approach to candour which was reflected in the joint statement all of the regulators made in October apart from the HCPC. There is still work to be done to fully embed this common approach into the regulators’ standards and functions. We will review the regulators’ progress against their plans through our 2015/16 review of the regulators’ performance, particularly the outcome of the HCPC’s review of its standards.

Consultation responses

2014 proved to be a busy year for consultations in the sector. Since our last e-newsletter in September we have responded to the following consultations many of which concern legal reforms:

  • The Department of Health consultation on the draft fees regulations for the Authority to be funded in the main by a fee imposed on the regulatory bodies

  • The Department of Health consultation on the draft HCPC section 60 order: the main effect of which would be to introduce statutory regulation for non-medical public health specialists

  • The Department of Health section 60 consultation on changes to the GDC’s fitness to practise process and the GDC’s own consultation on the Rules for implementing the provisions in the s. 60 Order

  • The Department of Health section 60 consultation on language controls for nurses, midwives, dentists, dental care professionals, pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians

  • A GMC consultation on its guidance on sanctions and insight and ideas for developing the role of warnings and apologies in its fitness to practise process

  • The GOsC consultation on proposed guidance on threshold criteria for unacceptable professional conduct
  • The Scottish Government consultation on introducing a new offence of ill-treatment or wilful neglect of patients and social care service users

  • The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy ethical framework consultation

  • The Ofsted consultation ‘Better inspection for all’

All of these responses are available in the consultation responses section of our website.

Douglas Bilton

Research and Knowledge Manager