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Regulators’ role in providing high-quality care to people with disabilities

15 Dec 2009 | Professional Standards Authority
  • Policy Advice

December 2009 advice to the Secretary of State

Legislation places duties on public bodies to promote disability equality. This report describes how health professional regulators can influence the standards of healthcare experienced by people with disabilities and meet this duty. Regulators are one of a number of influences on the quality of care and the report recommends action is taken by other organisations, including governments, service providers and professional leadership bodies. The report also recommends: 

  • The Government takes action to subject all regulators to the same duties and expectations under disability discrimination legislation
  • Regulators’ disability equality schemes and action plans consider the regulators’ indirect impact on the healthcare received by people with disabilities
  • The Government acts to subject all regulators to legislation that clearly states their role in protection of the public and ensuring that registrants adhere to standards necessary for safe and effective practice
  • As regulators review their standards and codes of conduct and competence, they should address issues raised by patients, service users and carers, as well as new statutory development
  • Regulators make certain that education and training programmes throughout a registrant’s professional life provides skills and competencies necessary for meeting the healthcare needs of people with disabilities
  • Regulators’ plans for revalidation should consider risks of poor care from patients’ perspectives. This could inform a targeted approach, and help to remedy the threat of failing to meet the healthcare needs of people with disabilities.