General Medical Council (GMC)
The GMC has launched a consultation on its draft consent guidance which aims to assist doctors with the practical challenges surrounding issues with consent and the difficulties it poses to the doctor-patient relationship. The consultation is open until 23 January 2019 and it emphasises the importance of communication between doctors and patients throughout all stages of treatment. Professor Colin Melville, the GMC’s Director of Education said:
“Consent is at the heart of the doctor-patient relationship and getting it right is fundamental to good medical practice.”
On 19 November 2018, the GMC issued a statement in relation to Zholia Alemi who had managed to register with the GMC in 1995 with a fraudulent qualification. Shannett Thompson and Eguono Ogueh have written a blog on the case which can be read here.
Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
The NMC has agreed to the proposed changes to the requirements of the International English Language Test System (IELTS) for overseas nurses and midwives. Nurses and midwives will still be required to achieve a minimum overall level 7 in the test; however, following discussions with stakeholders, the NMC will now allow a level 6.5 in writing to be accepted alongside a level 7 in reading, listening and speaking. The change will be in force from 5 December 2018 and further information can be found here.
Bar Standards Board (BSB)
The BSB has introduced new rules governing regulatory intervention in its updated Handbook published in November 2018. The update follows the BSB obtaining statutory powers to intervene in barristers’ practices where it is necessary to protect clients.
Ewen MacLeod, Director of Strategy and Policy said: "These new powers of intervention are an important addition to our range of regulatory tools. We expect to have to use them very infrequently and only in the rarest of situations where intervening is the only way in which we can safeguard clients' interests."
The press release can be accessed here.
General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)
The GPhC has welcomed the government’s response and recommendations to the Gosport Independent Panel inquiry’s report. Duncan Rudkin, the Chief Executive of the GPhC expressed that: “…we are committed to working with the pharmacy representative bodies to develop a framework for pharmacy to assess what changes have already been made to help prevent a similar situation to that described in the Panel report happening again and encourage discussion across pharmacy on any further actions that could be taken."
The report can be read here.
Shannett Thompson and Laura Penman provide further information on the Gosport Report in their blog post here.
General Chiropractic Council (GCC)
The Professional Standards Authority’s (PSA) has published its annual performance report 2017/18 of the GCC. The GCC has met all 24 of the PSA’s Standards of Good Regulation.
The GCC has welcomed this report with Chair, Mary Chapman stating that: “We are very pleased that the PSA has recognised efforts made during the last eighteen months to improve our customer service and communication with participants in Fitness to Practice processes. Meeting all the standards of good regulation is a significant achievement, reflecting the hard work of staff during a period of considerable change at the GCC.”
The full report can be accessed here.