We would first of all like to say a big thank you to those of you who dedicated your time and expertise over the past few months to tackle one of the biggest crises ever faced by the health and care sector. Typically, at this time of year, we welcome students who have joined the HCPC Register for the first time. This year, our welcome is slightly different, as some of you have already experienced what it means to be a HCPC registrant or frontline health and care worker, in the midst of a global pandemic.
This is a unique time for health and care. We appreciate that, for many of you, the decision to become a full-time registrant may not have been as straightforward as in previous years. You may have faced difficult personal and professional circumstances over the last year, which have not previously been a part of our registrants’ experience.
However, this is also an exciting time to join the health and care professions. The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the crucial role you play in maintaining and improving the health and wellbeing of the general public. Rest assured, we understand the challenges that you are facing and are here to provide support and guidance throughout your time as an HCPC registrant. There are three key ways in which we are doing this:
Maintaining your fitness to practise
Before you completed your application to join the Register, we asked you to read our Standards for conduct, professional skills and continuing professional development. These set out our expectations of you as a registered professional and, importantly, support your professional practice. We provide guidance on how to meet these standards which you can access on our website. We also provide a range of resources, including webinars and a regular newsletter as well as updates on our social media feeds. These are all designed to help you understand what it means to be a registered health and care professional.
Periodically, we review our standards and we are currently consulting on proposed changes to our Standards of proficiency. As a new registrant, would really value your opinion. If you would like to respond, please visit the dedicated webpage.
Supporting you through Covid-19 and beyond
By joining our Register, you are joining thousands of health and care professionals across the UK in having a regulator who will act in your best interests, and those of your patients and service users. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic we have supported our registrants in a variety of ways. We established a Covid-19 hub and worked hard to make it as easy as possible for health and care professionals to continue working, whilst safeguarding our registrants and the general public. This is something which we will continue to update with resources and information to help you navigate the new reality in which we are all living and working.
We also believe that now, more than ever, it is important for our registrants to look after your own health and wellbeing. We have published a number of health and wellbeing resources in the Your Health and Wellbeing section of our website, including helpline numbers and links to a number of support services.
Working for a better health and care system
Although Covid-19 has been a challenge, for registrants and the HCPC, it has also provided an opportunity. The knowledge and experience the HCPC has gained means we are now in a better place to push for improvements to the health and care system, which will benefit both you and the patients and service users you work with. We are championing more flexible regulation, increased opportunities for continued professional development and more university places for health and care professionals, and have shared our experience and insights, and those of our registrants, with the Department of Health and Social Care.
This is particularly important as we have seen a dramatic rise in the number of people who are keen to join us, boosted by public support for health and care professions. There has been a 103% increase in people seeking information on becoming a paramedic; a 152% increase in interest in diagnostic radiography; and a 218% rise in interest on becoming a high-intensity therapist. In order to support this growing interest and fully realise these opportunities, we must have a regulatory system that is fit for purpose.
We thank you for the contribution you are all making to securing and improving the health of patients and service users across the UK.