Press releases - February 2014

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New criminal offence of ill-treatment or wilful neglect

(Department of Health 27.2.14)

As part of the response to the Francis Report, the government accepted the recommendation of the National Advisory Group on the Safety of Patients in England to develop a new criminal offence of ill-treatment or wilful neglect. This consultation outlines the recommendation and the government’s current position, and sets out our proposals for the details of the offence.

Mental health and community health providers to be inspected from April

(Care and Quality Commission 24.02.14)

The CQC has announced the second group of mental health and community health providers that will be inspected as part of the New approach to inspecting specialist mental health services.

The providers cover a broad range of sizes, specialisms and regions across England as we continue to develop our improved inspection model for mental health and community healthcare.

GOC seeks input for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Scheme

(GOC press release 24.2.14)

The General Optical Council (GOC) has today launched a consultation seeking feedback on its proposed Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Scheme, which is designed to ensure these principles are embedded throughout its work. The scheme includes proposals to ensure fair access to GOC services; to ensure that all staff, registrants, Council and committee members are adequately trained and informed of their duties in respect of equality, diversity and inclusion; and to gather more data to better understand the makeup of the optical professions.

The consultation can be viewed at here.

GPhC outlines position on sale of e-cigarettes in registered pharmacies

(General Pharmaceutical Council 19.02.14)

Duncan Rudkin, Chief Executive of the General Pharmaceutical Council, said:

“The health, safety and well-being of patients must be the first concern for pharmacy owners and superintendents when deciding which products and services to supply in a pharmacy, and for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians when giving advice and information to patients.

Report on the Working Group meeting

(European Herbal & Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association 31.1.14)

Discussing the regulation of the sector. It highlights that there was considerable frustration about the delay on regulation of the herbal sector.  It was pointed out that the 2000 report from the House of Lords' Select Committee on Science and Technology and subsequent two Pittilo reports had all recommended that statutory regulation for herbalists should go ahead immediately on the basis of providing public safety whilst maintaining public choice to consult a herbal practitioner. The matter of medicines provision was also of vital importance but statutory regulation was not dependent on the outcome of the discussion about this matter.

RCVS calls on Unite to get its facts right first

(RCVS press release 7.2.14)

Nick Stace, CEO of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), has responded to a press release from Unite the Union

"Unite's suggestion that veterinary regulation should be under the scrutiny of the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) is misguided, because the PSA is there to oversee regulation in the human healthcare sector and the RCVS already has Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Privy Council oversight.

“Its further thoughts around the RCVS disciplinary process are out of date and missing the point. We would be very happy to help put them right and to hear any legitimate concerns they may have.

"Unite is calling for the College to no longer 'set the rules and hand down judgments', when in fact last year we successfully achieved a Legislative Reform Order, backed by the profession, to ensure that our Disciplinary and Preliminary Investigation Committees will become independent from Council.

NMC comment on financial discussions at Council meeting

(NMC press release 5.2.14)

In 2012, the NMC accepted a one off grant of £20 million, which enabled the registration fee for nurses and midwives to be maintained at £100 for two years. The government’s £20 million grant was given to the NMC on the understanding that the NMC would clear its historic caseload by summer 2014 and meet its six month adjudication key performance indicator (KPI) by the end of 2014. The NMC has already cleared its historic caseload (other than a handful of cases which cannot proceed due to third party involvement) and is on track to meet the six month adjudications (KPI) by the end of 2014.

As the two years of additional funding provided by the government draws to a close the NMC council will be reviewing the current fee structure at their March 2014 Council meeting. This is in line with the NMC’s commitment to review fees on an annual basis. The NMC Council will have the final decision on whether a fee consultation needs to take place.

Consultation outcome: Ensuring doctors have sufficient English language capability

(Department of Health press release 30.1.14)

Detail of outcome: We plan to continue with the changes set out in the consultation. We will make the proposed amendments to the Medical Act 1983 as soon as we can, subject to parliamentary approval. The majority of the 54 responses supported the proposed changes to the Medical Act 1983 to give the General Medical Council (GMC) more power to take action when there are concerns about a doctor’s English language capability.

Former Mid Staffordshire Director of Nursing struck-off 

(NMC press release 28.1.14)

The former Director of Nursing at the Mid Staffordshire District General Hospitals NHS Trust, Janice Harry, has been struck-off the nursing register after reaching a legal agreement.

GPhC seeks views on draft guidance on preparing unlicensed medicines

(GPhC press release 28.1.14)

New draft guidance proposes the steps pharmacy owners and superintendent pharmacists should take to make sure that unlicensed medicines prepared in the pharmacy are of the appropriate level of quality and safety, in order to protect patients.  The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has developed the draft guidance to advise pharmacy owners and superintendent pharmacists how they can demonstrate that they are achieving the relevant standards and safeguarding patients and the public when unlicensed medicines are prepared.

CCAB: code of ethical conduct guidance issued by accountancy bodies

An effective code of ethical conduct can only be effective if it is promoted and championed throughout the organisation, asserts a new publication from CCAB called Developing and Implementing a Code of Ethical Conduct.  The guidance is aimed at professional accountants intending to develop or enhance codes of conduct within their organisations, but CCAB believes that the advice and guidance could be applicable to a wider audience, in the private, public and not for profit sectors.

Click here for more information. 

Misconduct guidelines for teachers tightened

(Department for Education 17.01.14)  

Any teacher who receives a criminal conviction or caution involving indecent images of children should be banned from teaching, strict new guidelines set out today. Changes to the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) ‘Teacher misconduct: the prohibition of teachers’ advice have been published today (17 January 2014) by the Department for Education. The advice gives clear guidelines to the NCTL panels which consider cases of teacher misconduct. The panel’s recommendations are then referred to senior officials, who act on behalf of the Secretary of State, for a final decision.