Regulatory Press Round-Up: August 2013

5 August 2013

The Cavendish review: an independent review into healthcare assistants and support workers in the NHS and social care settings.

The Cavendish review, carried out in the wake of the Francis Inquiry into Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust, has now been published.  It makes a number of recommendations on how the training and support of both healthcare assistants who work in hospitals, and social care support workers who are employed in care homes and people’s own homes, can be improved to ensure they provide care to the highest standard.

The review proposes that all healthcare assistants and social care support workers should undergo the same basic training, based on the best practice that already exists in the system, and must get a standard ‘Certificate of Fundamental Care’ before they can care for people unsupervised.

The stated purpose of the reforms is to ensure care and compassion in the NHS and social care.

The Cavendish Review

Health and Care Professionals Consultation - an update on the Law Commission's Proposals

You may remember our report of the Law Commission’s likely proposals emerging out of the health and care professionals consultation. The Law Commission has now clarified the position and we can report that there is no plan to remove the role of the PSA in accrediting voluntary registers for non-statutory regulators. The recommendation is likely to be that health and social care statutory regulators will no longer be able to establish and run voluntary registers. 

General Dental Council (GDC)

16 July 2013
On 16 July 2013, the GDC published its new ‘Standards for the Dental Team’. This is due to replace the current Standards Guidance and will be effective from 30 September 2013.  The Council will be asked to approve additional guidance documents to support the Standards at their meeting on 8 August 2013.

The GDC intends to send the new Standards to all dental professionals in August 2013.

The Standards were approved by Council in June and can be assed via the GDC’s website.

The new standards incorporate patients’ expectations in a bid to reaffirm the GDC’s commitment to putting patient interests first.  The Standards include nine principles that form the core of the new standards:

  1. Put patients interests first
  2. Communicate effectively with patients
  3. Obtain valid consent
  4. Maintain and protect patient information
  5. Have a clear and effective complaints procedure
  6. Work with colleagues in a way that is in patients bes5t inters
  7. Maintain, develop and work within your professional knowledge and skills
  8. Raise concerns if patients are at risk
  9. Make sure your personal behaviour maintains patient confidence in you and the dental profession.

Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) has begun an advertising campaign to recruit registrant and lay individuals to its newly restructured Council.

The restructured Council will take office in January 2014 and will be made up of 12 members including the Chair. This will include 6 lay members and 6 registrant members who will be drawn from the health, psychological and social work professions regulated by the HCPC.

The current Chair of the HCPC, Anna van der Gaag, will remain in post for a further three years following the restructure to ensure consistency and continuity in the governance of the Council

The deadline for applications is Monday 23 September 2013.

In addition, the HCPC has launched a consultation on proposals to increase its registration fees in 2014.  The HCPC proposes to increase the renewal fee from £76 to £80 per year.

The consultation will run from 10 July until 1 October 2013. If the proposals are adopted the changes to the fees would be effective from 1 April 2014.

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

26 July 2013
The NMC's Council has agreed to consult on the introduction of a mandatory test of clinical competence for overseas applicants. This test is likely to take a year to introduce following consultation and test design.

The NMC will also introduce face to face identity checks for overseas applicants, which is likely to take at least two months to introduce.

18 July 2013
On 18 July, the NMC formally responded to the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry report (the Francis report), the full text of which can be found on their website.

Jackie Smith, Chief Executive and Registrar  of the NMC said in relation to the events at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust:

‘The tragic events at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust involved failures by individuals and regulators. Our response addresses individual responsibility, what we can do as a regulator and how we work with other organisations.

Our Code, binding on all nurses and midwives says:
Make the care of people your first concern, treating them as individuals and respecting their dignity.’

This needs to be the core principle of the whole healthcare system.’

10 July 2012
The NMC gave an initial response to the Camilla Cavendish Review on Health Care Assistants and Support Workers.  They welcome the proposal for a mandatory certificate of fundamental care and a requirement that all HCA’s have this in order to work with patients, as being in the interests of public protection.

The NMC stated they would look at the recommendations in detail and give a full response in due course.

General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)

18 July 2013
The GPhC also formally responded to the Francis Report as follows, embracing the recommendations of the report as they relate to the work of the GPhC. Specifically the GPhC identified six topics they need to focus on to develop their work:

  1. Enabling the voice of patients and carers to be heard in pharmacy and in the regulation of pharmacy, including making better use of existing resources like records of patient stories
  2. Improving our own use of information and making information about pharmacy regulation more transparent and useful both for patients and for everyone else with responsibilities in the system
  3. Making sure we do all we can to promote openness and honesty with patients and families on the part of both pharmacy owners and individual pharmacy professionals
  4. Enabling people, including patients and people working within pharmacy, to raise concerns about safety and standards of care so that these can be fully and openly addressed
  5. Continuing to use regulation to engender an open, accountable and just culture within pharmacy, in which professionalism can flourish
  6. Working proactively – both ourselves and with other organisations - to identify and tackle issues of concern.

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

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