Press Round Up: Regulatory and Professional Discipline - May 2014

16 May 2014

Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

  • Marc Seale, Chief Executive and Registrar and Anna van der Gaag, Chair of the HCPC have commented on BBC Panorama’s programme ‘Behind Closed Doors: Elderly Care Exposed’. They have stated that ‘there must be a system of personal accountability in place to address poor care. Our proposals include enforceable standards and the ability to stop the incompetent and abusive from working in the sector. This would deliver more effective protection for the elderly and most vulnerable members of our society’.  The Law Commission has published draft legislation that, if adopted by government, would enable statutory regulation to be introduced for occupational groups.
  • The HCPC have published revised guidance on the processes utilised to assess the health and character of both applicants to the Register and existing registrants.  This is as a result of the introduction of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (Amendment) (England and Wales) Order 2013.  An application and/or registrant will no longer need to disclose protected cautions and protected convictions to the HCPC. There are however some notable exceptions to this which mean that ‘listed offences’ and/or convictions for which a custodial sentence was imposed must still be disclosed.

General Medical Council (GMC)

  • The GMC are consulting on draft regulations that will limit the time that a doctor can hold provisional registration. At present doctors can stay provisionally registered indefinitely as long as they continue to pay their GMC annual retention fee and their fitness to practise remains unimpaired.  The proposed regulations will limit the time period in which a doctor can be provisionally registered to three years and 30 days.  This will allow doctors sufficient time, if necessary, to repeat the first year of the Foundation Programme (F1) in order to meet the competencies required. The consultation is open for a period of 8 weeks and closes on 18 June 2014.

General Dental Council (GDC)

  • The GDC are consulting on its draft Standards for Specialty Education.  These standards outline what the GDC expects of education and training providers delivering programmes that lead to a certificate of completion of specialist training (CCST) and individuals being included onto one of the GDC’s specialist lists. The consultation runs from 1 May 2014 to 23 July 2014.
  • The GDC has also launched a consultation on draft guidance for its Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) panels, including Indicative Sanctions Guidance.  This document will provide guidance to panels considering what sanction to impose following a finding that a registrant’s fitness to practise is impaired. The consultation will close on 30 June 2014.

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

  • The NMC and Health Education England have commissioned a review into nurse and healthcare assistant education and training in England called the Shape of Caring. This will ensure that nurses and healthcare assistants receive consistently high quality training and education throughout their careers.
  • The NMC has commissioned The King’s Fund to carry out an independent review into the regulation of Midwives.  This is the first review of the statutory framework of midwifery regulation since midwives became a regulated profession in 1902.  The review will consider the potential conflict of interest between Supervisors of Midwives’ regulatory and supervisory roles and will also explore potential models for the future of midwifery regulation across the UK.
  • The NMC has launched a consultation on proposed changes to its Fitness to Practise Rules and the Education, Registration and Registration Appeals Rules. The proposed changes would introduce Case Examiners, give the NMC the ability to review “no case to answer” decisions as part of the Fitness to Practise process, change the composition of registration appeal panels and allow the NMC to request and verify registration information.

General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)

  • The GPhC has launched an online survey of recently registered pharmacy technicians in order to obtain information about their experience of education and training.  This survey is part of a national study of pharmacy technician education and training commissioned by the GPhC.  The results will be published later in 2014.

Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)

  • The SRA has published a policy statement setting out plans for a wide-ranging programme of work to improve the regulation of solicitors and firms.  This will provide the foundation for significant change in the way the SRA regulates and includes a programme of reform which starts with the publication of four consultation papers.  The programme aims to remove unnecessary regulatory barriers and restrictions to enable increased competition, innovation and growth to better serve the consumers of legal services, reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens and cost on regulated firms and ensure that regulation is properly targeted and proportionate for all solicitors and regulated businesses, particularly small businesses.

All information correct at the time of press and can be accessed on each of the individual regulators’ websites.

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