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The General Chiropractic Council (GCC) welcomes the newly launched consultation into proposals for reforming professional health and care regulation.  This consultation has been long awaited and is the culmination of work that began in 2014 with a comprehensive review of the legal framework for professional health and care regulation in the UK by the Law Commissions of England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.  

The GCC welcomes this positive development, having long called for reform for our outdated legislative framework. Our rules, especially those for Fitness to Practise processes, are not in line with modern regulation and this consultation seeks views on the proposed approach to modernising the legislation of all the regulatory bodies.   Four key areas are proposed for reform:  Governance; Education and Training; Registration and Fitness to Practise. 

In parallel to this consultation, and as part of a wider programme to create a more flexible and proportionate professional regulatory framework the Department of Health and Social Care also published  last month the White Paper ‘Integration and innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all,’ which sets out legislative proposals for a Health and Care Bill, planned to come into force in 2022.

A central theme to the paper is the greater power for the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to change the regulatory landscape, with proposed new powers for the removal of professions from regulation, abolishment of individual regulators and the power to allow regulators to delegate some of their core functions to another body. 

The White Paper notes the current “UK model of professional regulation for healthcare professionals has become increasingly rigid, complex and needs to change to better protect patients, support the provision of health services, and help the workforce better meet current and future challenges.”

We are pleased to have been involved in shaping these proposals, in partnership with the other professional regulatory bodies and the Professional Standards Authority, and would like to encourage all our stakeholders to respond to enable us to work within the wider healthcare system with public safety at its heart.  The consultation runs until 12.15am on 16 June 2021.