The ALLIANCE has responded to the UK Government consultation on proposals to reform the regulation of healthcare professionals.
The consultation outlines proposals to modernise the legislation of the healthcare professional regulators. The proposed reforms cover four key areas:
- Governance and Operating Framework
- Education and Training
- Fitness to practise
We know from consultation with our members that the current model of regulation can be a complex and bureaucratic system to navigate. Our response aims to outline ways in which human rights can be considered and prioritised in the introduction of new regulatory procedures and processes.
To create a fairer, more flexible system for people accessing the UK regulatory system, a human rights based approach should be adopted, for example through the prism of the five-point PANEL Principles of participation, accountability, non-discrimination and equality, empowerment and legality (this link will take you away from our website). This would ensure that the rights and needs of people – including disabled people, people with long term conditions, and unpaid carers – are respected, protected and fulfilled.
Our recommendations include:
- That a thorough and robust Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) and a Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) on the impact of new rules, processes and systems is carried out at the earliest opportunity. This should be evidence led, based on meaningful involvement of communities and people with lived experience, and should explicitly address the impact on intersectional population groups.
- Measures should be taken to ensure that Boards have a diverse representation, including disabled people, people with long term conditions and unpaid carers.
- Robust and consistent data protection frameworks should be used when sharing data with relevant groups and organisations, particularly when concerned with sensitive personal or health information.
- Changes to the detail of individual regulators’ CPD processes should be reviewed periodically to ensure CPD requirements reflect the needs of stakeholders as required.
- Clear and accessible guidance should be given by each regulator about their guidance and processes, including fitness to practise procedures and measures.
- In addition to the protected characteristics in the Equality Act 2010, due regard and consideration should be had to how new rules, processes and policies impact other marginalised groups, including people on a low income/experiencing poverty, people experiencing homelessness, and people living in rural communities.
You can read our full response below.