What is this consultation about?
Context for our consultation
The Government is in the process of reforming the way that health and care professionals are regulated. It is planning 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 changes the Government intends to roll out will give regulators greater freedom to decide how they operate, including introducing the flexibility to set and amend their own rules. There will also be changes to regulators’ powers and governance arrangements.
The changes will also create an entirely new process for handling fitness to practise (the process by which concerns about healthcare professionals are dealt with). Under the new system, more cases are expected to be dealt with on paper through a process called an ‘accepted outcome’ rather than going to a formal hearing.
We have produced two sets of guidance to help regulators use their new powers effectively:
Guidance on the use of Accepted Outcomes in Fitness to Practise
Guidance on Rulemaking
Guidance on accepted outcomes in fitness to practise
Our guidance on the use of Accepted Outcomes in Fitness to Practise identifies key factors for regulators to consider when developing their own guidance on the use of accepted outcomes. The guidance includes factors to consider when deciding whether a case is best resolved by an accepted outcome or a fitness to practise panel (the disposal route) as well as factors for regulators to consider to ensure the accepted outcomes process is fair and transparent, and to promote effective decision-making.
Guidance on rulemaking
Our guidance on Rulemaking aims to help regulators make effective use of their new rulemaking powers in a way which prioritises public protection. It includes some principles to guide what good rules should aim to do or be, and the rulemaking process.
We are seeking your feedback on both pieces of guidance through this one consultation. The consultation paper explains more about the structure and sets out clearly which questions relate to which guidance.
Read through the full consultation to find out more. It is available in English and Welsh.
Why are we consulting?
We support the reforms to healthcare professional regulation but have also identified certain risks that may arise from the new ways of working. Developing the guidance that we are now consulting on is one of the steps we are taking to help make the reforms a success mitigate any potential risks and realise the opportunities of the reforms.
It is also one of our core roles (under the National Health Service Reform and Health Care Professions Act 2002 to promote best practice in the performance of regulators' functions, to formulate principles relating to good professional regulation, and to encourage regulators to conform to them). We want to make sure that reformed regulation is as effective as possible at protecting the public.
We are therefore seeking views from everybody with an interest in healthcare professional regulation, including patients, the public, registrants, regulators, professional bodies and employers.
How can I respond?
Please respond to this consultation paper by completing the online survey available in English here or in Welsh here. When using the online survey don’t forget to save your answers as prompted.
You can also submit your response by email – please include the name of the consultation in the subject line. When submitting by email, please reference your responses using the question numbers. Email responses should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
We welcome responses to any or all of the questions in the consultation.
Please respond by 5pm on Monday 15 April 2024.
Darllenwch drwy’r ymgynghoriad ac atebwch y cwestiynau yn Gymraeg yma.