Professional Regulatory press releases - June 2015

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New guidance sets out how to decide appropriate fitness to practise sanctions 

(General Pharmaceutical Council press release 3.6.15)

The General Pharmaceutical Council has published new guidance to help the Fitness to Practise Committee decide what sanction is appropriate in particular cases.  Good decision making: fitness to practise hearings and sanctions guidance also explains how fitness to practise hearings work, how decisions are made and the sanctions which the committee can impose. It will come into effect on 20 July 2015 and will replace the indicative sanctions guidance currently used by the Fitness to Practise Committee.

The guidance makes clear the importance of raising concerns and being open and honest when things go wrong. The committee is advised to consider sanctions at the upper end of the scale when cases involve a failure to raise concerns where patient safety is at risk or when a pharmacy professional took deliberate steps to avoid being candid with a patient, or with anyone involved in a patient’s care, or to prevent someone else from being candid.

HCPC publishes standards for podiatric surgery 

(HCPC press release 1.6.15)

The new HCPC standards for podiatric surgery set out requirements for programmes delivering training in podiatric surgery, as well as the knowledge and skills necessary for safe and effective podiatric surgery practice.  Podiatric surgery, the surgical management of bones, joints and soft tissues of the feet and associated structures, is significantly beyond the scope of practice of a chiropodist or podiatrist at entry to the profession.  The HCPC will use the new standards to approve and monitor programmes delivering post-registration training in podiatric surgery. Podiatrists who successfully complete an approved podiatric surgery programme will in the future have their entry on the HCPC Register ‘annotated’ or marked. The annotation will enable patients to check the HCPC Register to see if someone is qualified to perform podiatric surgery.

GMC Council approves development of UK medical licensing assessment 

(GMC press release 4.6.15)

The GMC Council has approved a plan to work with partners to develop a unified assessment for every doctor seeking to practice in the UK.  Over time we are confident that the UKMLA will help to drive up standards and that it could become an international benchmark test for entry to medicine.  It has been given a working title of the United Kingdom Medical Licensing Assessment (UKMLA). The new assessment would replace the current Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board test (PLAB) which is now taken by International Medical Graduates (IMGs).

Professional conduct advice service trials extended opening hours 

(RCVS press release 4.6.15)

As of Thursday 4 June, our Professional Standards Advice Team will be trialling extended hours, meaning that a member of staff will be available to answer calls about our Code of Professional Conduct and its supporting guidance until 7pm. 

NMC to consult on introducing language controls for EU trained nurses and midwives 

(NMC press release 1.6.15)

We're consulting on new English language checks on nurses and midwives who trained in Europe.  At its meeting in May, our Council gave the go ahead to consult on new English language checks on nurses and midwives who trained in Europe and wish to work in the UK.  Following recent changes to EU legislation, we are now consulting on our powers to require applicants to the register from the European Economic Area (EEA) to satisfy us that they have the necessary knowledge of English to practise safely and effectively in the UK.

NHS Trust produces video introduction to revised Code 

(Nursing and Midwifery Council 03.06.15)

Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust new video gives an excellent overview of the revised Code.  It features nurses and senior staff introducing the four themes, specific aspects of the revised Code, and the Code's central role in revalidation.

More than 300 vets removed from the Register for non-payment of fees 

(Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons 05.06.15)

On 1 June 2015, 372 veterinary surgeons were removed from the Register for non-payment of their annual renewal fee.

CQC prosecutes provider for failure to appoint managers 

(Care Quality Commission 09.06.15)

The provider of two care homes in Enfield have been fined more than £22,000 for failing to employ registered managers, as required by law.

New ICAEW President: We need to champion professionalism

(ICAEW 04.06.15)

ICAEW’s new President for 2015/16, Andrew Ratcliffe, calls on chartered accountants to reclaim the word profession as he starts his year in office. 

Give patients time to think before cosmetic procedures, doctors told 

(General Medical Council 08.06.15)

Doctors who carry out cosmetic procedures must allow patients time to think before agreeing to go ahead with treatment, according to new guidance from the General Medical Council (GMC). This consultation is a step in the right direction to tighten standards and protect people from potential risks.  

GPhC launches debate on the future of pharmacy education and training  

(GPhC press release 16.6.15)

We have launched a debate on how the education and training of the pharmacy team needs to change to address future challenges.  The discussion paper, Tomorrow’s pharmacy team; future standards for the initial education and training of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy support staff, analyses the policies for health, pharmacy and pharmacy education provision in each of the countries of Great Britain and draws preliminary conclusions about what the policies may mean for the future roles of the pharmacy team and the education and training they will need to fulfil those roles.

Homeopathy: RPS Chief Scientist challenges profession to act

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society does not endorse homeopathy as a form of treatment. In its reference guide on homeopathic and herbal products, the RPS makes it clear that there is no evidence of the clinical efficacy of homeopathic products, beyond a placebo effect, and no scientific basis for the practice. 

Closing soon - HCPC consultation on the revised Standards of conduct, performance and ethics

(HCPC 19.06.15)

The Health and Care Professions Council’s (HCPC) consultation on draft revised Standards of conduct, performance and ethics closes on Friday, 26 June 2015.
These are the high level ethical standards we set for all the professionals we register, laying out in broad terms the behaviour we expect of them. They reflect both public expectations of professionals and the high standards that professionals expect of each other.

CQC responds to RCGP call to 'halt' inspections

(Care Quality Commission 23.06.15)

Professor Steve Field, Chief Inspector of General Practice at the Care Quality Commission (CQC), said: "We are extremely disappointed that the Royal College of General Practitioners has called for an ‘emergency pause’ to our inspections of general practices, which we carry out to make sure that people across England get safe, high-quality and compassionate primary care. The safety and quality of care of people who use these services continue to be our number one priority.

June/July issue of the osteopath goes public

(General Osteopathic Council 22.06.15)

The leading article in this issue outlines the key findings from our research into public perceptions of the osteopathic profession The issue also contains updates about the European Standard on Osteopathic Healthcare Provision that provides a benchmark for the level of healthcare that should be provided to osteopathic patients throughout Europe. It also brings an interview with the new GOsC Head of Regulation the barrister Sheleen McCormack.

Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care Annual Report and Accounts and Performance Review Report 2014/2015

Volume II Performance Review Report 2014/2015

PSA reports "overall improvement in the NMC's performance"

(NMC press release 26.6.15)

The NMC welcomes the 2014-2015 PSA performance review report, which reports that NMC’s performance against the Standards of Good Regulation has improved. The Professional Standards Authority for health and social care (PSA) praised the effectiveness of major pieces of Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) work during the year, including the revised Code, which came into effect on 31 March 2015; the leadership we demonstrated when tackling concerns about midwifery practice in Guernsey, and meeting our target to conclude fitness to practise hearings more quickly.

General Dental Council focused on patient-first regulation

A major change programme is already delivering real improvements in the protection of dental patients, the General Dental Council (GDC) said today, following the publication of the annual review of performance by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA). The plan that the GDC has developed is designed to maintain the high level of confidence in the profession amongst patients. 
Today’s PSA report confirms that in the areas of guidance and standards, education and training, and registration the GDC is performing well. However, we also recognise that the PSA has identified a number of areas within the Fitness to Practise (FtP) category where reform is required.

GPhC seeks views on new investigating committee guidance

(GPhC press release 2.7.15)

The GPhC has launched a consultation on new guidance for the investigating committee to use when deciding what outcome is appropriate in a fitness to practise case. Good decision making: investigating committee meetings and outcomes guidance explains the role of the investigating committee and how it decides whether a case should be considered by the fitness to practise committee.
The GPhC wants to hear from pharmacy professionals, representative bodies, patients and committee members themselves, to get their views on the guidance.

GPhC publishes annual report for 2014-15

(GPhC press release 2.7.15)

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has published its annual report for 2014-15, covering its fourth full year in operation.

Bar Tribunal arrangements nearing completion

(Bar Standards Board 01.07.15)

The first quarterly report for 2015 into the implementation of the 77 required recommendations contained in Browne Review shows that more than 90% of actions have been completed.

Architects Code of Conduct: Consultation

The Architects Registration Board is currently considering whether to carry out a full review of the Architects Code of Conduct and Practice. The Code was last updated in 2010.
ARB is inviting views from the profession and interested stakeholders as to whether the current version of the Code remains fit for purpose. In particular, it is seeking information on whether there have been any professional, legal or societal changes since 2010 that should be reflected in a new Code of Conduct. The closing date for the consultation is 11 August 2015.

Professional Practice and Ethics latest guidance: Undertakings

(Bar Council 30.06.15)

Purpose: To assist barristers to identify whether and when they may give professional undertakings as barristers, and to identify some practical considerations

GCC Responds to the PSA's Performance Review

(General Chiropractic Council 30.06.15)

The General Chiropractic Council (GCC) acknowledges publication of the Professional Standards Authority’s (PSA) Performance Review of the GCC’s regulatory activities for 2014-2015.

New Code: The Code of Practice and Standard of Proficiency

(General Chiropractic Council 29.03.15)

We have published our new Code that will enter into effect on June 30th 2016.
The Code, which replaces the existing CoP and SoP, sets that standards that chiropractors must meet if they wish to practise in the UK to ensure that patients receive safe and professional treatment.

Employers urged to create conditions which encourage doctors, nurses and midwives to admit mistakes

(Nursing and Midwifery Council 29.06.15)

When things go wrong patients should expect a face to face explanation and apology from doctors, nurses and midwives according to new guidance from the General Medical Council (GMC) and the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). But the regulators have also made clear that professionals need to have the support of an open and honest working environment where they are able to learn from mistakes and feel comfortable reporting incidents that have led to harm.
The new guidance sets out the standards expected of all doctors, nurses and midwives practising in the UK. It also aims to help patients understand what to expect from healthcare professionals.

GOC welcomes Professional Standards Authority performance review

(General Optical Council 26.06.15)

The General Optical Council (GOC) has today welcomed the Professional Standards Authority’s (The Authority) annual performance review report. The GOC has met 21 of The Authority’s 24 Standards of Good Regulation, including all of those for standards and for education.

GMC consultation proposes new time limits for publishing sanctions

(General Medical Council 03.07.15)

New time limits proposed for how long sanctions on a doctor’s registration are published online or made available to the public.
This consultation is about making the information we hold more accessible and making the decisions we take clearer for patients and the public.

New GMC consultation on credentialing will help patients to have increased confidence in their doctors

(General Medical Council 03.07.15)

We are consulting on a new process called credentialing. This means that a doctor who has been awarded a credential in a particular field of practice will have this recorded in their entry on the medical register which shows they have the appropriate standards of knowledge and skills

GPhC seeks views on new investigating committee guidance

(General Pharmaceutical Council 02.07.15)

The GPhC has launched a consultation on new guidance for the investigating committee to use when deciding what outcome is appropriate in a fitness to practise case. Good decision making: investigating committee meetings and outcomes guidance explains the role of the investigating committee and how it decides whether a case should be considered by the fitness to practise committee.

A year of unprecedented change: annual report and accounts 2014 - 2015 published

(Pensions Regulator 02.07.15)

The Pensions Regulator has published its annual report and accounts for 2014 - 2015. The report sets out the regulator’s performance against its corporate objectives during a time of unprecedented change in the pensions sector.

Bar regulator consults on reforms to the disciplinary tribunal system

(Bar Standards Board 07.07.15)

In an open consultation, launched today, the bar regulator is seeking views on proposals to reform the disciplinary tribunal system. The Disciplinary Tribunal Regulations (found at Part 5B of the BSB Handbook) set out the powers and functions of Disciplinary Tribunals who are responsible for deciding whether a barrister (or a BSB-authorised entity) has committed professional misconduct.

Response to review of neglect of older people living in care homes – Operation Jasmine

(Nursing and Midwifery Council 14.07.15)

We have responded to the report, “In search of accountability: A review of the neglect of older people living in care homes investigated as Operation Jasmine”.

FRC feedback statement on Joint Forum on Actuarial Regulation: A risk perspective

(Financial Reporting Council 13.07.15)

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has today published a feedback statement on the discussion paper, ‘Joint Forum on Actuarial Regulation: A risk perspective’, which sought views on the Joint Forum on Actuarial Regulation’s (JFAR) identification of risks to the public interest where actuarial work is relevant.

Regulator consults on what could be the most sweeping reforms to Bar training in a generation; keen to seek views from all

(Bar Standards Board 10.07.15)

Future barristers may be able to achieve their career aspirations by a number of different, more flexible pathways if some of the approaches being considered by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) are implemented.
The BSB consultation paper launched today considers the strengths and weaknesses in the current academic (law degree or conversion course), vocational (Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) and pupillage stages of training required to become a barrister.

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