The Department of Health has launched a consultation on the regulation of the healthcare professions across the UK. The purpose of the consultation is to gather views on what changes need to be made to the way midwives, nurses and other health professionals are regulated in the UK. It is hoped that the proposed reforms will make the process of professional regulation more efficient and offer better protection for service users and patients.
You can read the Government consultation paper ‘Promoting professionalism, reforming regulation'. Suggestions for reform include reducing the number of regulators to 3 or 4 and asking views on how the regulators could be configured if they are reduced in number. This provides a potential opportunity for midwives to move out of the Nursing and Midwifery Council and be regulated by another regulatory body such as the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
It is important that the voices of midwives are heard and members use the opportunity to say what they want for the future regulation of the profession. The College is providing an organisational response, if you would like your feedback to the consultation to be considered for inclusion in the RCM document, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday 16th January 2018. The consultation closes on 23rd January 2018.
The current system of regulation is an historical patchwork which has resulted in inconsistencies across the regulators and processes which are slow, complicated, overly adversarial and confusing. This consultation takes forward the Government's commitment to legislate to reform and rationalise the current system of regulation of the healthcare professions. The proposals aim to design a flexible model of professional regulation that secures public trust, supports a culture of learning, fosters professionalism and improves clinical practice, while also adapting to future developments in healthcare.
The consultation builds upon the recommendations of the Law Commissions review in 2014 and sets out the five objectives as follows:
- To improve the protection of the public from the risk of harm from poor professional practice;
- To support the development of a flexible workforce that is better able to meet the challenges of delivering healthcare in the future;
- To deal with concerns about the performance of professionals in a more proportionate and responsive fashion;
- To provide greater support for regulated professionals in delivering high quality care; and
- To increase the efficiency of the system.