Professional Regulatory press releases - March 2015

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Investigation report into Morecambe Bay published

(Department of Health 03.03.15)

The Morecambe Bay Investigation was established by Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, in September 2013. It was set up in response to a series of maternal and neonatal deaths at the Trust between January 2004 and June 2013. The report published today found 20 instances of significant or major failings of care at Furness General Hospital, associated with 3 maternal deaths and the deaths of 16 babies. It concludes that different clinical care would have been expected to prevent the death of 1 mother and 11 babies.

NMC welcomes report on investigation into University Hospitals Morecambe Bay Trust

(Nursing and Midwifery Council 03.03.15)

The NMC welcomes Dr Kirkup's report into maternity and neonatal services at University Hospitals

Statement from the General Medical Council following the publication of the Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust Investigation

(General Medical Council 03.03.15)

Statement from the General Medical Council following the publication of the Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust Investigation

(General Medical Council 03.03.15)

Taking the TOC

(General Chiropractic Council 02.03.15)

The GCC’s Test of Competence (TOC) has to be taken by people wishing to practice as a chiropractor who have qualifications awarded outside the UK and who do not hold EU Community Rights. The test has recently been changed.

Teacher misconduct: forthcoming professional conduct hearings

(National College for Teaching and Leadership 04.03.15)

List of forthcoming professional conduct hearings for teacher misconduct cases.

UK veterinary surgeons to use courtesy ‘Doctor’ title

(RCVS press release 06.03.15)

Veterinary surgeons in the UK have been given permission to use the courtesy title ‘Doctor’, following a decision made by RCVS Council yesterday (5 March 2015).  The decision follows a consultation, to which 11,202 responses were received, where 81% were in favour of the change, 13% against, and 6% did not mind either way.  The issue had been raised in a bid to align the UK with international practice, providing greater clarity for the profession and offering reassurance to clients and the animal-owning public that all veterinary surgeons registered with the RCVS, regardless of where they qualified, have veterinary degrees of an appropriate standard.

Pivotal new report highlights circumstances where bullying and undermining of doctors in training most likely

(GMC press release 05.03.15)

Doctors in training have highlighted circumstances where they believe bullying and undermining is more likely to occur in a pivotal new report published today by the General Medical Council (GMC).

GCC Statement on PSA Audit Report

(General Chiropractic Council 06.03.15)

The GCC acknowledges the publication, on the 27th February 2015, of the PSA’s audit of the initial stages of the GCC’s fitness to practise (FtP) process. During this initial stage of our FtP process, the GCC provides documentary evidence to enable the Investigating Committee - which is independent of the GCC - to decide whether a complaint should be referred for a hearing in front of an FtP panel or whether it should be closed.

Shape of Caring review publishes final recommendations

(Nursing and Midwifery Council 12.03.15)

The Shape of Caring Review report, commissioned by Health Education England in partnership with the Nursing and Midwifery Council, is published today.
Raising the Bar, the final report from the Shape of Caring review, details 34 recommendations for the future of education and training for registered nurses and care assistants.

GDC appears before the Health Select Committee

On Wednesday 11 March 2015 the General Dental Council’s (GDC) Chair and Chief Executive appeared before the Health Select Committee (HSC) for an accountability hearing.  William Moyes and Evlynne Gilvarry were asked about work that’s underway to improve the GDC’s fitness to practise processes, reasons behind the increase in the annual retention fee for dentists in 2015 and what benefits could be expected from any future legislative change.

GMC responds to Supreme Court judgment

(General Medical Council 11.03.15)

Response to Supreme Court judgment of NM v Lanarkshire Health Board

Today the Supreme Court has found in favour of NM, the mother of a child born with cerebral palsy, in a case against Lanarkshire Health Board. The GMC was granted permission to intervene in this case to provide submissions on our good practice guidance. This is because there are certain fundamental principles in our guidance – around consent - that we thought may be of assistance to the Court.

Police disciplinary hearings to be held in public

(Home Office press release 12.3.15)

Home Secretary announces a package of reforms to improve the police complaints and disciplinary systems.  New regulations laid today (12 March) by the Home Secretary will ensure police disciplinary hearings are held in public and led by legally qualified chairs.

The powers are part of a series of changes that aim to make police misconduct hearings more open and visible as well as increasing protection for police whistleblowers. They include:

  • Requiring disciplinary hearings are held in public [from 1 May];
  • Ensuring the chair of the hearing is legally qualified [from January 2016];
  • Protecting police whistleblowers from unfair disciplinary action [from 1 May];
  • Allowing compensation to be withheld from chief officers who are found guilty of misconduct [from 1 May].

Summary of decisions made at March 2015 RCVS Council 12 March 2015

(RCVS press release 12.3.15)

At its meeting on Thursday 5 March RCVS Council agreed a number of decisions including allowing the use of the courtesy title ‘Doctor’ for veterinary surgeons and setting up a panel to look into changes to the College’s governance structure.

Radical proposals calling for pharmacists to work in GP surgeries will be unveiled at a summit in London today

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) have come up with the plans in a bid to ease current pressures in general practice and address the severe shortage of GPs. They say that the move will improve patient safety and care and, crucially, reduce waiting times for GP appointments.

GOC launches consultation on new standards for the optical professions

(General Optical Council 16.03.15)

The General Optical Council (GOC) has today launched a consultation on new standards of practice for optometrists and dispensing opticians designed to promote higher standards across the optical professions by making it easier for registrants to understand the regulator’s expectations.

The Care Quality Commission responds to the Which? complaints report

(Care Quality Commission 13.03.15)

Responding to the Which? report "Make Complaints Count" Prof Sir Mike Richards, Chief Inspector of Hospitals at the Care Quality Commission, said:

“The findings from Which? mirror our own recent investigation of the complaints system across health and adult social care in England. We found huge variation where people who raise concerns about NHS, primary care and adult social care services were often met with a defensive culture, rather than one that listens and is willing to learn.

FRC publishes compendium of Audit and Assurance Standards and Guidance 2015

(Financial Reporting Council 03.03.15)

The FRC has published its compendium of Audit and Assurance Standards and Guidance 2015.
The compendium includes the FRC’s audit and assurance standards in issue at 1 February 2015, including:

  • International Standards on Auditing (ISAs) (UK and Ireland);
  • International Standard on Quality Control (ISQC) (UK and Ireland) 1;
  • International Standard on Review Engagements (ISRE) (UK and Ireland) 2410;
  • Standards for Investment Reporting (SIRs);
  • Ethical Standards for Auditors;
  • Ethical Standard for Reporting Accountants.

GMC seeks views of doctors in training

(GMC press release 20.3.15)

Doctors in training will begin taking part in the world’s largest survey of postgraduate medical education later this week (March 24).  We need to listen to what doctors in training tell us about their experience. This is an important test of how well the system is working and it is incumbent on everyone involved to act on the results.  For the first time this year the survey will explore the environment in which doctors are trained; how fairly doctors feel they are being treated, and if their posts help build confidence.  This follows concerns raised in previous years’ survey by doctors in training over undermining and bullying.

GMC gets right of appeal to High Court

(General Medical Council 25.03.15)

Parliament has approved changes to the Medical Act which will give the General Medical Council (GMC) a right of appeal against fitness to practise tribunal decisions it considers are too lenient and do not protect the public.

The new right of appeal and the establishment of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service as a statutory body are major reforms in UK professional regulation.

The tribunals are run by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) which operates separately from the GMC and will now be placed on a statutory footing.

Regulator confirms minimum insurance terms for entities

(Bar Standards Board 24.03.15)

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has today published the minimum terms of the professional indemnity insurance it expects BSB-regulated businesses ("entities") to have in place.

‘ILEX Professional Standards’ to become ‘CILEx Regulation’

(Chartered Institute of Legal Executives 20.03.15)

On 23 March 2015 ILEX Professional Standards (IPS) will change its name to CILEx Regulation.

The change follows parliamentary approval for IPS to award practice rights and authorise legal entities. The new name will reflect CILEx Regulation’s extended role as the regulator for Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) members, other specialist lawyers and legal businesses.

Land registry opens up identity verification to CILEx Fellows

(Chartered Institute of Legal Executives 17.03.15)

The Land Registry is to introduce revised Forms ID1 and ID2 from 7 April 2015 to reflect the right of CILEx Conveyancing Practitioners to act as signatories to these forms. From the same date the Land Registry will also open up identity forms for authorisation by Chartered Legal Executives

GMC welcomes independent whistleblowers review by Sir Anthony Hooper

(General Medical Council 26.03.15)

An independent review commissioned by the GMC has recommended that organisations referring concerns about a doctor’s fitness to practise to the GMC should declare whether the doctor has raised concerns about patient safety.  The report by Sir Anthony Hooper, a retired Lord Justice of Appeal, says there is evidence that those who raise concerns may suffer, or believe that they suffer, reprisals from their employer or from colleagues. He proposes a series of recommendations for GMC investigations to make sure that such whistleblowers are treated fairly.

Consultation outcome: Mandatory qualification: specialist teachers

(National College for Teaching and Leadership press release 24.3.15)

UPDATED: The NCTL is seeking views on the mandatory qualification for specialist teachers of children and young people with sensory impairment.  Summary of responses received and the government’s response outlining the next steps to be taken.

Open consultation: Pharmacy legislation on dispensing errors and standards

(Department for Health – updated 26.3.15)

UPDATED: Added a link to the consultation webinar and the equality analysis. Seeks views on proposals for changes to the legislation on dispensing errors and registered pharmacy standards and other related matters.

New Code comes into force for every nurse and midwife

(Nursing and Midwifery Council 31.3.15)

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has today published a revised Code which places public expectations at the heart of good nursing and midwifery practice.  From today, every nurse and midwife in the UK will practice in line with a revised  Code from their regulator, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Link to the code:

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