Today I am publishing a consultation on the reform of the regulation of healthcare professionals in the UK.
This takes forward the manifesto commitment to legislate to reform and rationalise the current outdated system of professional regulation of healthcare professions, based on the advice of professional regulators.
The UK's model of professional regulation for healthcare professionals has become increasingly complex and outdated. It needs to change to protect patients better, to support our health services and to help the workforce meet future challenges. This consultation is a major step towards developing a modern system of regulation for healthcare professionals.
My Department has worked with the governments in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales as well as the healthcare regulation bodies to develop proposals for reform. We have built on the work of the Law Commissions of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The UK governments have five objectives in taking forward reform:
- Improve the protection of the public from the risk of harm from poor professional practice;
- Support the development of a flexible workforce that is better able to meet the challenges of delivering healthcare in the future;
- Deal with concerns about the performance of professionals in a more proportionate and responsive fashion;
- Provide greater support to regulated professionals in delivering high quality care; and
- Increase the efficiency of the system.
This consultation considers the reforms that are needed in order to maximise public protection while supporting workforce development. We want to design a flexible model of professional regulation that secures public trust, fosters professionalism and improves clinical practice, while also being adaptable to future developments in healthcare.
The responses to this consultation will allow the government to consider future options for professional regulation. The consultation will run for 12 weeks and close on 23 January 2018. The consultation document has been attached and can be accessed online at https://consultations.dh.gov.uk/professional-regulation/regulatory-reform
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: