Regulatory Press Round-Up: April 2013

3 May 2013

Professional registration for Healthcare assistants?

Healthcare assistants would like to see stricter regulation of their profession. A recent poll carried out by the British Journal of Healthcare Assistants revealed that 93% supported compulsory registration, many of whom are willing to pay for it.

This development was suggested during the Mid Staffordshire Inquiry, however, ministers rejected the recommendation in March. Their decision was based on the bureaucratic burden such a move would involve. Furthermore, ministers were concerned about the cost of registration for those who are on low wages, proposing a code of conduct and minimum trading standards as an alternative.

However, 67% of healthcare assistants have said they would willingly pay  an annual registration fee.

There is a clear disagreement between those within the profession and the Department of Health and the future for regulation of Healthcare Assistance remains uncertain.

General Medical Council

Following the Mid Staffordshire Report, the GMC have been focusing on putting patients at the centre of healthcare. On 22 April 2013, a new guide for patients was published by the GMC. The guidance is the first of its kind, allowing patients to read and understand what they can expect from their doctor.

The new guide is part of a drive to put patients at the centre of a doctor’s practice and is also intended to assist medical professionals in achieving patient satisfaction. The guide will set out the duties of a doctor; the importance of dignity and respect within the doctor-patient relationship, and the standard of conduct, knowledge and skills that patients can expect from their clinician.
Recent research conducted by the GMC suggests that employers should be doing more to support the professional development of their doctors. The study is based on 60 interviews conducted across a range of organisations which revealed that there is a lack of support for locums, doctors outside training grades and some of those in the independent sector.

It is hoped the research will allow the GMC to understand how to support doctors more effectively through continuing professional development (CPD).

General Dental Council

A recent consultation on CPD at the GDC has revealed some concerns about the quality of CPD available to dental professionals. A four month public consultation was held between October 2012 and January 2013. The GDC is responding to these concerns by calling on the entire dental CPD industryto quality assure their products and services. The GDC has also advised its registrants to make careful decisions when it comes to their CPD, making sure in advance that it will be of good quality and represent value for money.

Health and Care Professions Council

A consultation into the standards of proficiency for Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) was launched on 5 April 2013. The HCPC have invited stakeholders to come forward with their views on changes to the profession-specific standards of proficiency for SLTs.

The Director of Policy and Standards at the HCPC, Michael Guthrie has said:

“We are reviewing the standards for speech and language therapists to ensure they continue to be set at an appropriate level for entry to the HCPC Register and so they reflect the current practice.”

Security Industry Authority

On 2 April 2013, the SIA celebrated their tenth anniversary as the UK regulator of the private security industry.

The SIA was created by Parliament with the Private Security Industry Act 2011. Its core purpose is to reduce crime and raise standards in the private security industry to make the public feel and be safer.

Its road to regulation has been effective, issuing almost one million licences across seven sectors.

Bar Standards Board

A new Strategic Plan has been published by the BSB, setting out the organisation’s vision for the next three years. Its programmes and aims for work in the coming year have also been published in its Business Plan for 2013-14.

These plans set out their aims for the coming years, which include:

  • Implementing new specialist regulatory frameworks for advocacy services;
  • Promoting greater public and professional understanding of what they do and why;
  • Setting and maintaining high standards of entry to, and practice for the profession;
  • Taking a more risk and evidence based approach to what they do; and
  • Striving for the best practice as an organisation for those whom they serve and those who work for them.

*All information correct at time of press and can be accessed on each of the individual regulator’s websites

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