The Professional Standards Authority (PSA) is seeking views until 5pm on Monday, 15 April 2024 on two draft guidance documents to support healthcare professional regulators in using their new powers around rulemaking and fitness to practise. The new powers for regulators will come in after the roll-out of the Department of Health and Social Care’s regulator reform programme. The template for reform will be based on the model outlined out in the recently laid Anaesthesia Associates and Physician Associates Order 2024.
The Government plans to change the legislation for nine out of the 10 healthcare professional regulators we oversee, giving them a range of new powers and allowing them to operate in a very different way.
The new powers will give regulators greater freedom to decide how they operate, including the flexibility to set and amend their own rules. It will also create an entirely new process for handling fitness to practise concerns (the process by which concerns about healthcare professionals are dealt with) allowing a quicker, less adversarial way to deal with concerns about professionals, outside of a public hearing.
The main effect of these changes is that the regulators will have more freedom than they have now, both to decide how to use their powers, and to make individual decisions about professionals.
The PSA has produced guidance to help the regulators use these new powers effectively – and are seeking feedback on this guidance. As the oversight body for the regulators, the PSA is in a unique position to look across them and provide advice on good practice. The guidance is intended to help shape the way these new powers are used, support the regulators as they each develop their own guidance across their different regulatory functions, and promote a robust and consistent approach.
More details about the consultation and what it is about can be found here. It is open until 5pm on Monday,15 April 2024. We welcome responses to any or all the questions in the consultation.
We welcome responses to this consultation in Welsh. A Welsh version of our consultation document can be found here.
Gallwch ddarllen fersiwn Cymraeg o'r datganiad gwe yma.
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
- Regulators within the scope of the Government’s reforms to healthcare professional regulation include: the General Medical Council, the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the Health and Care professions Council, the General Dental Council, the General Pharmaceutical Council, the General Optical Council, the General Chiropractic Council, the General, Osteopathic Council and the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland. Social Work England, the remaining regulator under the PSA’s remit, is not covered by the reform programme as their legislation is more modern and their powers are already similar to the model being introduced.