We have now published our full response to the Government's consultation. You can read it here.
In addition to our concerns about proposals to introduce 'accepted outcomes' with no independent oversight, there are two other areas that give us cause for concern:
1. The plan to remove 'health' as a category in the fitness to practise process. We believe that, not only could this lead to registrants with health conditions being labelled as 'incompetent', it could also make it harder for regulators to restrict the practice of registrants who present a risk to prevent harm to patients. The proposals, as they are currently set out in the consultation, also add an additional layer of complication for regulators, employers and the public by introducing a parallel process to deal with health cases. We think this is a recipe for confusion, inconsistency, and poor decision-making.
2. The proposed changes to regulator rule-making. Though we agree that regulatory agility is important (we have seen the need for it during the pandemic), much depends on how this freedom is balanced with accountability to ensure that rules protect the public and don’t lead to unjustifiable inconsistencies in approach.
Find out more about these two areas of concerns and the solutions we have put forward to help address them in our short report Three things to get right for public protection
These reforms are an opportunity to bring some coherence to a fragmented system. Let’s not waste it.
Don't miss this chance to have your say and make sure public protection is at the heart of any future reforms. We believe that if we work together we can improve regulation and make sure public protection sits at the front and centre of future reform.
Find out more / useful resources:
- Read our short report First look at Government consultation on reforming regulation
- Read our report on the Three things to get right for public protection
- Frequently asked questions explaining more about fitness to practise, section 29 and the proposals put forward in the Government's consultation Regulating healthcare professionals, protecting the public
- The added value of our power to appeal which goes beyond the appeal process itself and brings extra benefits including creating case law, improving decision-making and making the fitness to practise process fairer and more transparent
- Read through some examples of our power to appeal in practice in these case studies
- Read independent research we have commissioned to help inform our views on regulatory reform: Does consistency between regulators matter? and Patient and public perspectives on future fitness to practise processes
- Find out more about our thoughts on fitness to practise reform