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Authority responds to Health and Care Bill White Paper

The Professional Standards Authority (the Authority) has responded to the publication of the Government White Paper on a Health and Care Bill.

The White Paper, published yesterday, proposes far-reaching changes to reform the NHS and social care with the aiming of joining up services, cutting bureaucracy, increasing local control of services and increasing focus on prevention of illness and reducing health inequalities.

The paper also includes further proposals for reform of health and care professional regulation including powers to abolish regulators or remove restrictions on the delegation of regulatory functions and to add or remove professions from regulation to promote a proportionate, risk-based approach.

The Authority developed a model outlined in Right-touch assurance to advise Government on which groups should be regulated based on risk of harm arising from practice.

Professional Standards Authority Chief Executive Alan Clamp said:

‘The Authority welcomes the continuing commitment to reform of professional regulation in the White Paper.’

‘We will be looking closely at proposals and engaging with Government and stakeholders to ensure that any reforms maintain or improve the level of public protection offered by professional regulation whilst moving towards a more proportionate, risk based approach in line with our own right touch regulation principles.’

ENDS

Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care

 Contact: media@professionalstandards.org.uk


Notes to the Editor

  1. The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care oversees 10 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 – integrity, transparency, respect, fairness and teamwork – and we strive to ensure that they are at the core of our work.
  7. More information about our work and the approach we take is available at www.professionalstandards.org.uk
  8.  The White Paper on proposals for a new Health and Care Bill was published on 11 February 2021. Proposals in the paper with particular relevance for professional regulation include:
  • Powers to widen the scope of section 60 and enable the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to make further reforms including:
    • the power to remove a profession from regulation
    • powers to abolish an individual health and care regulator
    • powers to remove restrictions regarding the power to delegate functions through legislation
    • clarifying the scope of section 60 to include senior NHS managers and leaders and other groups of workers (to allow implementation of the Kark Review recommendation on regulation of managers if required).
  • Put the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) on statutory footing – including the provision of safe space investigation powers.