The Professional Standards Authority (the Authority) has welcomed the publication of the Government consultation Regulating healthcare professionals, protecting the public.
Modernisation of professional regulation in health and social care is clearly required, and the Authority supports much of what is proposed. There are, however, key areas where we believe some change is needed to the Government’s proposals in order to maintain public protection and ensure an appropriate balance between flexibility and accountability.
We will shortly be publishing our own thoughts on the strengths of these proposed reforms and on how the Government proposals can be improved.
The consultation runs until 12.15 am on 16 June 2021. This will be a key opportunity for all interested stakeholders to have their say on significant changes to how the professional regulators operate, including a new fitness to practise model and major changes to governance.
Professional Standards Authority Chief Executive Alan Clamp said:
‘The Authority welcomes the publication of the Government consultation on reforms to the legislation of the health professional regulators.’
‘We have called for reform and support much of what Government has proposed. We do, however, have some concerns about key areas of the fitness to practise proposals which if not addressed may reduce public protection.’
‘We encourage all interested parties to respond to this important consultation. The Authority looks forward to working with the Government and wider stakeholders to ensure that these reforms meet the needs of patients, registrants and the public.’
Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care
Notes to the Editor
- The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care oversees 10 statutory bodies that regulate health and social care professionals in the UK.
- 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.
- We also set standards for organisations holding voluntary registers for health and social care occupations and accredit those that meet them.
- 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.
- 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.
- Our values are – integrity, transparency, respect, fairness and teamwork – and we strive to ensure that they are at the core of our work.
- More information about our work and the approach we take is available at www.professionalstandards.org.uk
- The Department of Health and Social Care has now published its public consultation on reforms to the legislation of the health professional regulators - https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/regulating-healthcare-professionals-protecting-the-public. Although this will cover changes to all the regulatory functions, key proposals include:
- Introducing a new fitness to practise (FtP) model across the health professional regulators allowing regulators to dispose of cases without a public hearing in agreement with the registrant
- Making changes to regulator governance including implementing consistent duties of cooperation, transparency and proportionality across the regulators, introducing new powers around data sharing and replacing regulator Councils with smaller unitary Boards
- Providing regulators with powers to set and change their own operating procedures through rules.
- The consultation also includes proposals to bring Physician Associates and Anaesthesia Associates into statutory regulation (to be regulated by the GMC) and to make changes to the international registration processes operated by the GDC and the NMC.