The Professional Standards Authority has published its response to the Government consultation on reforms to healthcare professional regulation. We welcome these modernising reforms, which herald a new era for the regulation of professionals in the health sector.
The Government consultation sought views on legislation to bring Physician Associates (PAs) and Anaesthesia Associates (AAs) into regulation under the General Medical Council (GMC).
These reforms will also shape the future of professional regulation: they will be used as the model for all other regulated healthcare professions, and rolled out to each regulator in turn – with doctors, nurses and allied health professionals next in line.
They will give regulators more flexibility, which would help them tackle some of the big challenges in the sector such as those outlined in our recent report Safer care for all. They will allow a less adversarial and more efficient route for dealing with concerns about professionals. They could also bring about greater consistency between regulators.
However, we think there are some important changes that are needed to maximise the benefits of the reforms – we have laid these out in our full response. As part of this, we are considering how we need to adapt our oversight of the regulators, once they have moved across to the new model, as well as through the transition.
Alan Clamp, Chief Executive said:
‘These reforms are a major opportunity to give regulators the tools they need to tackle big challenges in regulation in health and social care. We submit our feedback to the Government in the spirit of helping to make the new model as good as it can be, in the interests of public protection and good regulation.’
Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care
Notes to the Editor
- Social Work England is currently outside the scope of the legislative reform programme.
- On 24 April 2023, we published a briefing on the draft legislation and consultation.
- The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care oversees 10 statutory bodies that regulate health and social care professionals in the UK.
- We assess their performance and report to Parliament. We also conduct audits and investigations and can appeal fitness to practise cases to the courts if we consider that sanctions are insufficient to protect the public and it is in the public interest.
- We also set standards for organisations holding voluntary registers for health and social care occupations and accredit those that meet them.
- We share good practice and knowledge, conduct research and introduce new ideas to our sector. We monitor policy developments in the UK and internationally and provide advice on issues relating to professional standards in health and social care.
- We do this to promote the health, safety and wellbeing of users of health and social care services and the public. We are an independent body, accountable to the UK Parliament.
- Our values are – integrity, transparency, respect, fairness and teamwork – and we strive to ensure that they are at the core of our work.
- More information about our work and the approach we take is available at www.professionalstandards.org.uk