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DH sets out reforms on regulation of HCPs

Measurements to improve the regulation and governance of healthcare professionals have been published in two reports from the Department of Health

Measurements to improve the regulation and governance of healthcare professionals have been published in two reports from the Department of Health(DH).

The Tackling Concerns Nationally and Tackling Concerns Locally reports are part of the wider Government reforms on professional regulation to raise standards and ensure patient safety. Both reports are the result of external working groups.

Tackling Concerns Nationally sets out recommendations for the establishment of the Office of the Health Professions Adjudicator (OHPA), which will look at cases brought forward assessing fitness to practise for healthcare professionals.

This separate body would be independent from existing professional regulators, the Government and the healthcare profession, to ensure absolute fairness and transparency. The board will initially take on cases concerning doctors and will expand to other professions. A consultation has also been launched today that sets out proposals for the principles and governance of this new body.

Tackling Concerns Locally sets out recommendations and principles of best practice to strengthen local NHS arrangements for identifying poor performance among healthcare workers and taking effective action. Local implementation will be supported by more detailed operational guidance and by regulations that the Department of Health will introduce later this year. These will result from consultation with interested parties.

Health Minister, Ben Bradshaw said: "Our overriding priority is to ensure that patients and the public are protected. These reports go a long way to further ensure healthcare standards in the NHS are high, and to reassure both public and professionals that the systems and processes put the safety of patients at their heart, while being fair to staff."

Professor Jenny Simpson OBE, Chief Executive of the British Association of Medical Managers and chair of the Tackling Concerns Locally working group said: "I am delighted to see the launch of this important document. It details a range of practical measures, specifically designed to bridge any gaps between structures and processes within local organisations and national-level regulatory mechanisms."

24th March 2009

From: Healthcare

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