We have published our annual performance review of the GPhC. During 2022/23, we conducted a periodic review of the GPhC’s performance against the Standards of Good Regulation (the Standards).
For this period, the GPhC has met 17 out of the 18 Standards. Our report explains how we made our decision.
In recent years we have reported our concerns about various aspects of the GPhC’s fitness to practise function. The GPhC has taken various steps to improve its performance and address our concerns, including launching a five-year fitness to practise strategy in 2021. We are satisfied that the GPhC has improved the quality of decision-making and the support it provides to fitness to practise parties, and we are pleased to report that it has met Standards 16 and 18 for the first time since 2017/18.
However, we still have concerns about the time it takes the GPhC to deal with fitness to practise cases: it is still taking too long to progress cases through the system, and the number of open older cases has increased. Due to the serious and ongoing delays, we have concluded that Standard 15 is not met. As this is the fifth year in a row that the GPhC has not met our Standard for timeliness in fitness to practise, we have taken further action under our escalation policy. We have written to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and the Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee to raise our concerns and we will monitor the GPhC’s work to improve its performance in this area.
The performance review is our check on how well the regulators have been protecting the public and promoting confidence in the health and care professions. We do this by assessing their performance against our Standards. The judgements we make against each Standard incorporate a range of evidence to form an overall picture of performance. Meeting a Standard means that we are satisfied that a regulator is performing well in that area.
In January 2022, we implemented a new performance review approach, starting with the 2021/22 round of reviews. In the new process, we undertake a ‘periodic review’ of each regulator every three years. This is our opportunity to look closely at all aspects of the regulator’s work. Between these reviews, we monitor their performance, focusing on areas of risk. This year, we undertook a periodic review of the GPhC.
Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care
Notes to the Editor
- 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