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63,000 health practitioners underused, says Professional Standards Authority

The UK now has a real opportunity to get more out of its health and care workforce, the Professional Standards Authority said today. Acknowledging widespread recognition that we need new ways to deliver integrated care fit for the 21st century and tackle national health problems, Harry Cayton, the Authority’s Chief Executive, called for people in charge of health and care services to use a wider range of occupational groups.

Mr Cayton made the comments as the Authority published its first report on the Accredited Registers programme, the Government programme to promote safety and quality in a wide range of health and care services across the UK. The extra level of assurance the programme offers gives commissioners and employers the confidence they need to make wider use of a workforce focused on prevention and wellbeing.

Commenting, Chief Executive of the Professional Standards Authority, Harry Cayton said:

“We all know we need to deliver new, innovative ways to improve people’s health. The NHS is re-examining the way they deliver services and exploring new models of integrated care better-suited to today. That means looking beyond the traditional confines of our health and care system and the traditional health professions. The 63,000 practitioners on 17 Accredited Registers covering 25 occupations must be a part of that, offering different approaches to care which commissioners can choose with the confidence that they are competent and safe.

“Having confidence in Accredited Registers covering health sciences, talking therapies, physical therapies and a range of complementary therapies means that we no longer have to depend solely on doctors and nurses but can create broader multidisciplinary teams. We must invest in prevention and wellbeing to deliver healthcare for the 21stcentury, and that means taking a wider view of the health and care workforce.”

The report published today sets out how the programme gives service users, employers and commissioners the confidence they need to use a wider range of practitioners. The benefits of the programme include: 

  • all Registers which have been accredited to date have made improvements to their working practices to gain accreditation from the Authority, improving overall quality across the different sectors
  • if a practitioner is removed from one Accredited Register they cannot join another, protecting patients and consumers from malpractice
  • all Accredited Registers are required to carry out careful risk assessments to ensure they understand the risks their occupation may pose to the public and to ensure that they are managing those risks effectively.

ENDS

For further information or comment please contact the Professional Standards Authority communications team at: psa@luther.co.uk or 020 7618 9100.

Find out more about Accredited Registers