GOC itself feels the shadow of inspection on its regulatory roles by Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC)
As it (DHSC) published last week a consultation on Regulating Health Care Professionals, Protecting the Public.
The reforms cover four broad areas – governance and operating framework, education and training, registration, and fitness to practise (FTP).
The consultation also sets out “next steps for the reform of professional regulation” to follow this consultation.
The consultation notes that:
• Any changes to regulating businesses “will be considered and consulted on when our reforms are delivered into that regulator’s legislation”.
• “The GOC is the only regulator which holds a student register”. The proposal is to “remove any powers or duties for regulators to hold a register of students”, which includes “removing the duty on the GOC to hold a student register”
• There is a general preference to move to a unitary board structure.
The government also intends to:
• “Commission a review of the professions that are currently regulated in the UK, to consider whether statutory regulation remains appropriate for these professions”
• “Commission an independent review of the number of regulators.”
The GOC response was that they welcomed this consultation and the aim to give all health and social care regulators broadly equivalent powers in order to maintain a level of consistency and effective public protection.
They think that removing overly prescriptive, complex and rigid legislative frameworks will allow regulators greater freedom to respond to future challenges, such as COVID-19, in a quicker and more effective way. They also note the intention to commission a review of the overall number of regulators and regulated professions.
They welcomed the fact that this is being taken forward by an independent party and look forward to feeding in our views.
They did not address the possible removal of the student register but no doubt will in due course.