St Austell & Newquay’s Liberal Democrat MP, Stephen Gilbert, has written to the Health Minister, Daniel Poulter MP, to call for statutory regulation to be extended to new groups of healthcare professionals.
Since 2003, the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) has recommended that 11 new groups of healthcare professionals should be brought within the framework for statutory regulation, but, according to the HCPC, only two have been.
There are concerns that non-statutory Accredited Voluntary Registration fails to provide the robust safeguards necessary to ensure patient safety; with one registrar (the Registration Council for Clinical Physiologists) highlighting instances of practitioners leaving the register following negligence claims and simply gaining new employment at another NHS provider.
In his letter, Stephen asks the Minister to address the concerns regarding the disciplinary process for voluntarily registered practitioners and to extend statutory regulation to the groups recommended by the HCPC.
Stephen Gilbert MP commented:
“I love our NHS and I know what an amazing job our doctors and nurses do, that’s why I refused to back the Government on the controversial Health and Care Bill which allowed more private contracts in the NHS.
“For the same reason, I believe it’s vital that patients have confidence in who they’re receiving treatment from. That means confidence in the regulation of healthcare professionals.
“When one of the bodies that oversees voluntary regulation is saying they have concerns with the safeguards, then something is seriously wrong.
“I am calling on the Government to extend statutory regulation to those groups recommended by the HCPC and to urgently address the worries that practitioners can escape disciplinary processes but continue to work in the NHS.”