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What has been achieved in professional health regulation to date? Professional Standards Authority publishes its Annual Report

The Authority has today published its annual report. In the report, we take the opportunity to look back, charting key moments in the development of the regulatory framework underlining why reform is necessary.

The report was laid before Parliament on 28 June 2018 and fulfils the Authority’s duty to report to Parliament on our own performance; and the performance of the health and care professional regulators and accredited registers we oversee.

As we await the outcome of the government’s consultation on its plans to reform professional regulation, the report recognises the progress made in recent years, particularly in changes to the governance of regulators. However, it also highlights how the experience of patients needs to be fully at the heart of professional regulation and that fitness to practise proceedings are in urgent need of reform to benefit both registrants and patients. It notes the various changes that some regulators are making to their fitness to practise processes and the move towards consensual agreements and decisions about fitness to practise being taken outside of panel hearings. 

While we agree that it is important that regulators’ processes should encourage early resolution and remediation, there is a gap in public protection if the Authority cannot review these decisions and we are seeking to ensure we can do so.

In 2017/18.

  • We reviewed the performance of all the regulators and found particular concerns about the HCPC which the HCPC is addressing. We did not publish our review of the NMC because of the Lessons Learned Review of its handling of concerns about the midwifery unit at Furness General Hospital.
  • The Accredited Registers programme grew to 25 registers and over 85,000 practitioners. We removed accreditation from one register and issued 11 Conditions across eight of the registers that retained their accreditation to ensure these registers continue to provide public protection. We have highlighted the need for reform of the legislative barriers to the full public protection potential of the registers and the programme, caused by the limitations of the of Rehabilitation of Offenders Act and Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act.
  • Our report Right-touch reform provides a detailed description of current regulatory arrangements and our prescription for reform.

Harry Cayton, chief executive said; 'This is the last annual report that I shall sign off. It looks back at the many achievements of the Authority but also forward to hoped for reforms and a regulatory framework that is fit for the future.'

You can download the full report  or the highlights. See some of our main statistics for the year here. The report is also available in Welsh. Key statistics cover our work reviewing the regulators, accrediting registers and improving regulation.

ENDS

Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care

Contact:

Christine Braithwaite

Director, Policy and Standards

Email: Christine.Braithwaite@professionalstandards.org.uk

Reception: 020 7389 8030

Email: info@professionalstandards.org.uk

Notes to the Editor

  1. The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care (previously known as the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence) oversees nine statutory bodies that regulate health and social care professionals in the UK.
  2. We assess their performance and report to Parliament. We also conduct audits and investigations and can appeal fitness to practise cases to the courts if we consider that sanctions are insufficient to protect the public and it is in the public interest.
  3. We also set standards for organisations holding voluntary registers for health and social care occupations and accredit those that meet them.
  4. We share good practice and knowledge, conduct research and introduce new ideas to our sector. We monitor policy developments in the UK and internationally and provide advice on issues relating to professional standards in health and social care.
  5. We do this to promote the health, safety and wellbeing of users of health and social care services and the public. We are an independent body, accountable to the UK Parliament.
  6. Our values are at the heart of who we are and what we do. We are committed to being impartial, fair, accessible and consistent in the application of our values.
  7. More information about our work and the approach we take is available at www.professionalstandards.org.uk