Research and policy update
Professional identities and regulation
In the run-up to Christmas, we published a literature review exploring the issues of professional identity and whether regulation exerts any influence on how it is developed and maintained. We brought together research from a number of sources and the review found that professional identity of health and care workers is more influenced by education, work environment and other factors rather than regulation. Regulation’s influence on health and care workers’ sense of professional identity was quite limited.
However, that was until a professional found themselves in an unusual situation, such as subject to a fitness to practice process, where regulation tended to then play a larger role. Besides this, the review also found that if a health or care worker has a strong professional identity, this can increase how valued they feel in their role. This strong sense of identity can bring benefits, not only to the professional themselves but also to patients.
This is an interesting topic and the literature review only scratched the surface so we are carrying out more detailed research on this subject and the results will be published later in the spring.
We gave advice to the Department of Health and published our interim report on the oversight of the role of nursing associate in November. As part of our assessment, we applied our new Right-touch assurance methodology for the first time. You can find out more in our report.
We also published an feasibility study of the potential for using prohibition order schemes for unregulated health and care workers in the UK. These are sometimes referred to colloquially as ‘blacklists’ – lists of people who have been banned from working in a particular occupation or setting. The Department of Health had asked us for our thoughts on this subject for those groups of health and care practitioners who do not currently fall under a statutory regulator or an accredited register. The report explains:
- what prohibition order schemes are;
- looks at them in the context of UK health and social care; and
- brings together key findings and conclusions.
The report concludes that there may be a place for prohibition order schemes in the regulatory framework for health and social care in the UK, where there is a clearly identified problem and where risks have been thoroughly assessed. We could envisage them possibly being used as part of a range of regulatory options to manage different levels of risk.
See our 2016 round up for more statistics on the Authority's work in 2016.