It’s easy to look back with hindsight and say to ourselves ‘we could have done that better or differently…’ but in the midst of a pandemic – the like we have not seen for well over a century – we all tried to do our best, but could we have done anything differently and, if so, can this help us plan for future crises?
We are conducting this review to look at how the regulators responded to the pandemic and we’re asking:
‘What lessons can we learn from this first phase of the pandemic that can help us develop strategies to respond to the ongoing situation, learn for future crises and also just help with ‘business as usual?’
And we would welcome your input.
We are working with the regulators we oversee to review their responses to the first phase of the coronavirus pandemic up to July 2020. We hope that this can help us learn lessons and inform how regulation reacts to any future crises.
The challenge to regulators during the pandemic has been to continue to protect patient safety in the crisis through:
- supporting registrants to continue to practise safely, including through Covid-19 specific guidance
- minimising the spread of infection in carrying out the regulatory functions, protecting the regulators’ own workforces and those interacting with them
- enabling students and trainees to continue to progress in their studies safely, maximising their contribution to patient care where possible and
- supporting the health and care workforce to meet the increased demand placed on it by the pandemic.
Regulators responded quickly to the crisis, introducing such measures as:
- temporary registers
- virtual hearings in fitness to practise cases
- greater flexibility in course monitoring and approval of course adaptations in their Quality Assurance of higher education and
- new guidance and standards to support registrants through the crisis.
Points to consider
We would be very interested to receive contributions from stakeholders to incorporate into our review, looking for example at:
- Which measures, new policies, new approaches or key decisions implemented by regulators during the period do you assess to have been most effective in responding to the pandemic, and why?
- Should any measures implemented by regulators during the first phase of the crisis become the new normal?
- Are there areas where further work is needed before innovations become adopted in the longer term?
- Are there areas where you feel regulatory innovations or actions during this period have been particularly impactful?
- Have there been any unintended consequences of measures, new policies, new approaches, or key decisions?
- Are there areas where the full impact of measures taken is not yet fully understood?
- Do you think that any regulatory gaps have been disclosed by the pandemic?
- What are the main learning points for further waves of the virus, other future crises, and future business as usual?
Please feel free to address as many or as few of these questions as you like, or to provide comments any other points in any format. Please note that the focus of the review is on learning and regulatory policy – should your comments tend more towards matters of the regulator’s performance, while we will be grateful to receive them, we may reroute them into our ongoing process of performance review.
How to get in touch/deadline
The deadline for contributing is Monday, 21 December. You can send us your feedback by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
We are hoping to publish a report in early 2021.
Find out more about our response to Covid-19 here, including guidance for regulators on fitness to practise hearings during the pandemic
We also have published several blogs related to Covid-19 and regulation: