Regulatory Press Round-Up: February 2017

10 February 2017

Financial Reporting Council (FRC)

  • The FRC has published a report ‘Joint Forum on Actuarial Regulation: 2016 risk perspective update’. The report is an update to the feedback statement ‘Joint Forum on Actuarial Regulation: A risk perspective’ published in July 2015. The update includes the JFAR’s current perspective on risks to the public interest where actuarial work is relevant and reports the JFAR’s activities. The report notes that, despite the evolving regulatory, political and economic landscape, the high-level risks identified previously remain broadly unchanged. The full report can be found on the GDC website

General Dental Council (GDC)

  • The GDC has published plans for how its approach to regulating dental professionals will be reformed to emphasise public safety and focus on the prevention of harm. The GDC hopes to make more active use of education and learning to support dental professionals throughout their career. The changes are focused on securing patient protection, public confidence in dental services and a fairer regulatory system for professionals.  The proposals are entitled “Shifting the balance: a better, fairer system of dental regulation”. The GDC is seeking views on the proposals and a discussion document will be live for three months until 26 April 2017. A dedicated page on the proposals can be found on the GDC website.

General Medical Council (GMC)

  • On 25 January 2017 the GMC published revised guidance on confidentiality for all doctors practising in the UK. The guidance – Confidentiality: good practice in handling patient information  – comes into effect from Tuesday 25 April 2017. Revisions have been made to the guidance, last published in 2009, following an extensive consultation exercise. While the principles of the current GMC guidance remain unchanged, it now clarifies:
  • The public protection responsibilities of doctors, including when to make disclosures in the public interest.
  • The importance of sharing information for direct care, recognising the multi-disciplinary and multi-agency context doctors work in.
  • The circumstances in which doctors can rely on implied consent to share patient information for direct care.

General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)

  • On 14 December 2016 the GPhC launched a consultation on revised threshold criteria. The threshold criteria are used by decision-makers within the GPhC, who are involved in investigating concerns, to decide whether a case should be referred to the Investigating Committee. The GPhC is consulting on revised threshold criteria to ensure they are an effective decision making tool and to take account of changes in pharmacy regulation. The 12-week consultation will close on 7 March 2017.

Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC)

  • On 9 January 2017 the HCPC published the revised Standards of Proficiency (SOPs) for social workers in England. The standards set out what social workers in England should know, understand and be able to do when they complete their social work training in order to register with the HCPC. They also set out clear expectations of a social worker’s knowledge and ability whilst practising. The new SOPs can be viewed using this link: http://www.hcpc-uk.org/publications/standards/index.asp?id=569

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

  • The NMC has welcomed the Department of Health's response to consultation on changes to its legislation. The response signals the Department’s intention to move forward with a number of changes to the NMC’s legal framework. The changes will separate the supervision of midwives from regulation and ensure that the NMC is now fully responsible for all aspects of midwifery regulation. Changes will also remove the statutory requirement for the Midwifery Committee. There will also be changes to the NMC’s fitness to practise legislation, with new powers to resolve some cases more expeditiously, taking only the most serious cases to a full hearing. The consultation can be viewed here: https://www.nmc.org.uk/news/news-and-updates/nmc-launches-consultation-into-proposed-changes-to-fitness-to-practise-processes/

This press round-up has been compiled by Christopher Boughton 

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