Fitness to Practise Guidance
Delegating the care of patients to non-registrants
A recent Investigating Committee (IC) meeting heard a complaint from a patient who had unknowingly received treatment from a non-registered healthcare employee while under the care of a registrant. The patient believed the employee was a chiropractor, only discovering otherwise after several treatment sessions.
We know that using non-registered employees to assist with a patient's treatment is commonplace in some multi-disciplinary practices. However, it remains the registrant's responsibility to ensure that a patient is aware and understands the professional status of any non-registered employee and provides their consent on that basis before any additional treatment commences.
A GCC registrant is also responsible for ensuring that any additional treatment offered to their patient is safe. Failure to do so may result in a complaint to the GCC about the registrant. The IC will consider the extent to which the registrant is responsible for the care provided by a non-registered person.
Most patients will not recognise the difference between a registered healthcare professional and other employees who may be involved in their care. Patients of a GCC registrant can be assured that their healthcare professional's knowledge and skills are maintained and up to date. Furthermore, patients can be assured that a GCC registrant will ensure their safety and take responsibility for their overall assessment and care while receiving treatment (Principle G, Standards 1,2,5 and 6). This cannot be said for non-registered employees.