In this series of ‘View from Council’ blogs, I aim to give an overview of how we work to reach the key decisions being made by Council. Transparency with registrants and the public about our work, the major projects we are undertaking to help us improve, and how we are delivering on our corporate strategy, are essential to being an effective regulator.
This month’s ‘View from Council’ brings with it an opportunity to be directly involved in the work of our Council. If you have been reading these blogs and think that you might like to be part of the Council, now is your chance.
At this month’s Council meeting, we approved a process to appoint three new council members on 1st January 2022. Council members Sonya Lam and Stephen Wordsworth, who are both registrant members, will leave Council in December, having both served the full 8-year maximum appointment term. I would like to thank them both for their excellent service during this time and wish them the very best.
As a result, we now need to appoint two new registrant members. We also have one Lay member vacancy which we are looking to fill. This is a great opportunity to get involved in our Council, and the delivery of our new corporate strategy. We will be promoting the vacancies throughout July and early August, so keep an eye out for additional information, if you would like to apply.
We need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream to find out why they are falling in.”
- Desmond Tutu.
HCPC is placing great emphasis on improving fitness to practise, on wellbeing, and on prevention rather than dealing mainly with problems after they occur. However, there will be instances where a fitness to practise process is the necessary thing to do and so we are applying lessons learned from registrants and patients to our own approach. I have outlined in previous blogs our drive to deliver an Accelerated Fitness to Practise Improvement Plan. The programme is essential for enabling us better to protect the public, and for reducing unnecessary burdens of Fitness to Practise investigations on our registrants..
In total, we have prioritised sixteen key Fitness to Practise improvement projects to be delivered between January and July 2021. I am very pleased to say that, so far, we have finished seven of these projects and are starting to see the benefits of them. These completed projects include:
- Recruitment campaigns
We have successfully recruited a number of new team members to join our FtP team. This included the recruitment of 11 new legally qualified Chairs for the Investigating Committees and after successfully completing an induction, the new Chairs started sitting on Investigating Committees from 20 April 2021.
We have also concluded the case manager recruitment process and expect that the new team members will be joining us this month. Expanding the team will mean we are able to process Fitness to Practise investigations more quickly and effectively.
- Perform Plus
We know that a Fitness to Practise process can be stressful for everyone involved, and one of the key factors that we can work on improving is the time taken to reach the correct decision. We have implemented Perform Plus, a tried-and-tested methodology which aims to create a more proactive culture of collaboration and problem solving, in order to improve performance across the Fitness to Practise team. This programme is already boosting efficiency and quality, which we know will benefit both registrants and members of the public.
As part of the improvement programme, we report on the progress of all the projects at each Council meeting. You can read more about some of the other projects in this Council paper: Fitness to Practise Improvement Plan - Progress update
We discussed regulatory reform in the private session of the Council meeting and will be providing a response to the Department of Health and Social Care’s public consultation on the matter shortly.
John Barwick, CEO of the HCPC, recently spoke at the Westminster Health Forum, sharing our high-level views on regulatory reform. This is an important subject for HCPC, and one on which we will be taking a strong, active stance over the coming year and beyond. We are developing proposals that we believe will improve efficiency and improve outcomes in professional regulation. For an overview of our thinking, which will form the basis of our response, you can read the contents of John’s speech here: HCPC Chief Executive calls for a recalibration of healthcare professional regulation