The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has today published its response to the 2021 consultation Regulating healthcare professionals, protecting the public.
Alongside this, DHSC has also published the draft legislation concerning the regulation by the General Medical Council of anaesthesia associates and physician associates.
The publication is an important and welcome milestone in the process of modernising the legislation of professional regulators in health and care.
It has long been the case that the legislative frameworks under which we, and other professional regulators in health and care, operate require modernising. They do not reflect the realities of regulating today. As the DHSC has recognised, the HCPC in particular has been operating under especially constrained fitness to practise legislation. Reforms to governance, education and training, registration and fitness to practise will enable us to have greater autonomy over our regulatory processes and be more responsive to the ever-changing health and care landscape.
We warmly welcome the DHSC’s confirmation that it intends to consult next on modernising the regulatory regime for both the HCPC and the Nursing and Midwifery Council. Between us and the NMC, we regulate over a million health and care professionals.
A modern legislative regime will make a huge difference to the HCPC’s ability to regulate fairly, compassionately and efficiently.
We look forward to working closely with the DHSC, the NMC and our other stakeholders, including professional bodies and unions, to ensure the much-needed changes to our legislative framework can be brought into effect as soon as possible, and that we can continue to fulfill our role of protecting the public in the increasingly complex and changing health and care sector.
Christine Elliott, Chair of Council
"On behalf of the HCPC Council, I welcome the Government's public commitment to this major regulatory reform of our antiquated legislation. These changes speak to our central purpose of public protection underpinned by professional excellence. We shall use the opportunity to become fitter for the future, a compassionate, effective and forward-thinking regulator."
Andrew Smith, Interim Deputy CEO & Registrar
“We warmly welcome this announcement by the Government today. The HCPC’s legislation is outdated and in need of reform. We’re delighted to see this public commitment to reform our legislation. We look forward to working with the Department of Health and Social Care and our other stakeholders to introduce these changes as soon as possible for the benefit of patients, the public and the people on our Register.”