The Professional Standards Authority (PSA) is seeking views on two draft guidance documents to support healthcare professional regulators in using their new powers around rulemaking and fitness to practise. The new powers for regulators will come in after the roll-out of the Department of Health and Social Care’s regulator reform programme. The template for reform will be based on the model outlined out in the recently laid Anaesthesia Associates and Physician Associates Order 2024.
The Government plans 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 new powers will give regulators greater freedom to decide how they operate, including the flexibility to set and amend their own rules. It will also create an entirely new process for handling fitness to practise concerns (the process by which concerns about healthcare professionals are dealt with) allowing a quicker, less adversarial way to deal with concerns about professionals, outside of a public hearing.
Writing on its website, the PSA wrote:
“The main effect of these changes is that the regulators will have more freedom than they have now, both to decide how to use their powers, and to make individual decisions about professionals.
“The PSA has produced guidance to help the regulators use these new powers effectively – and are seeking feedback on this guidance. As the oversight body for the regulators, the PSA is in a unique position to look across them and provide advice on good practice. The guidance is intended to help shape the way these new powers are used, support the regulators as they each develop their own guidance across their different regulatory functions, and promote a robust and consistent approach.”
More details about the consultation and what it is about can be found here. It is open until 5pm on Monday,15 April 2024. We welcome responses to any or all the questions in the consultation. A Welsh version of our consultation document can be found here.
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