Just in: PSA report on dishonest behaviour by health and care professionals

Posted by Nick Leale on
In last week's monthly Professional Regulatory bulletin we sent a link to the new EU DPA regime - little did we know that within days the PSA would publish something that might be considered far more interesting! 

Below is a link to the PSA's report on public and professional attitudes towards dishonest behaviour by health and care professionals. It is a fascinating read.

The research was conducted with the assistance of a broad range of focus groups.

What appears to be of most interest is the shared, although at times nuanced, view of the public and the professionals with regard to what constitutes aggravating and mitigating factors in dishonesty cases. It is clear that only a minority would wish to see registrants expelled for any instance of dishonesty but the majority are, outside of the egregious cases, tolerant and constructive where insight and remorse are displayed. The existence of a genuine victim, particularly where vulnerable, was seen to be of particular significance. The public and professionals were very focused on rehabilitation and the importance of managed re-entry to the professions where appropriate. Education and empowerment were considered to be key. The cultural context of the dishonest behaviour was also considered to be a significant factor. Particularly interestingly, the risk to public confidence in relation to disposals in dishonesty cases attracted scepticism. The view of seriousness varied by profession and how relevant the dishonesty was to the core function of the relevant profession. Integrity was considered more serious for a social worker than a dentist, for example, as the latter was less likely to be serving vulnerable people or dealing with personal and intimate matters.

Ultimately this report is only the start of the story. The participants in the research were generally agreed that there is a lack of proper organising principles on the part of regulators to support a coherent hierarchy of seriousness of case and graduation of appropriate remedies. The PSA appear to have concluded that this study invites further thinking – such a common thought in the professional disciplinary world! Be ready for a long and probably creeping debate…

Please click here to view the full report.

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About the Authors

Nick is a specialist professional regulatory case manager/advocate and oversees the firm's contracts with a number of professional regulatory bodies.

Nick Leale
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020 7814 6923

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Katharine is a barrister with 17 years’ experience. She is a professional support lawyer at Blake Morgan.

Katharine Blackburn
Email Katharine
020 7814 6868

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