General Medical Council

On 11 August 2017, the UK Shape of Training Steering Group (UKSTSG) published its report providing policy advice and structure to guide the implementation of the recommendations from Professor David Greenaway’s Independent Shape of Training review. One of the key recommendations arising from the report is the need for more doctors who are capable of providing care in broad specialities across a range of different settings. This is being driven by a growing number of patients with multiple co-morbidities, an ageing population, health inequalities and increasing patient expectations.

The full report: http://www.shapeoftraining.co.uk/1739.asp

General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)

On 20 July 2017, the GPhC launched a consultation on new guidance for pharmacy owners which outlines what they are expected to do to ensure everyone in the pharmacy team can provide safe and effective services to patients and the public.

Duncan Rudkin, Chief Executive of the GPhC said:

‘We are holding a consultation because we know that an effective pharmacy team is key to safe and effective care…our proposed approach gives pharmacy owners the flexibility for current and future roles to decide what training their staff need for their individual roles, but also makes them accountable for ensuring that all staff working in the pharmacy are competent and empowered to provide safe and effective care to people using their services. There are some important proposals in here and we want to hear back from interested parties so that we can get this right.’

The consultation closes in October 2017.

The consultation paper:

Health and Care Professions Council

The Health and Care Professions Council and the other eight regulators of health and care professionals have signed a joint statement, which sets out what is expected of all healthcare professionals in relation to avoiding, declaring and managing conflicts of interest across all healthcare settings. The statement is intended to support each regulator’s professional standards, codes and guidance, which the statement says ‘should be the overriding consideration for professionals.’

Expectations include:

  • Putting the interests of people in their care before their own interests or those of any colleague or organisation
  • Consider where potential conflicts of interest may arise and be open about them
  • Maintain appropriate personal and professional boundaries
  • Ensure patients have access to visible information on any fees or charging policies for which they are responsible

Joint Statement: http://www.hcpc-uk.org/mediaandevents/news/index.asp?id=830

Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)

The ICO has reminded NHS employees about the potentially serious consequences of prying into patient’s medical records without a valid reason. The warning came after a former health care assistant was ordered to pay a total of £1,715 in fines and costs after pleading guilty to offences of unlawfully obtaining and unlawfully disclosing personal data.

Steve Eckersley, Head of Enforcement, said:

‘Once again we see an NHS employee getting themselves in serious trouble by letting their personal curiosity get the better of them…Patients are entitled to have their privacy protected and those who work with sensitive personal data need to know that they can’t just access it or share it with others when the feel like it. The law is clear and the consequences of breaking it can be severe.’

Solicitors Regulation Authority

On 8 August 2017, the Treasury announced the list of organisations that would be captured by its European Union Financial Sanctions Regulations 2017 includes ‘independent legal professionals’. The existing regulations already placed an obligation on businesses to report to the Treasury if they were acting for anyone subject to financial sanctions, but enforcement action could only be taken against financial services firms.

Crispin Passmore, SRA Executive Director, Policy said:

‘The new financial sanctions regulations mean legal firms are obliged to comply with the reporting regime. These regulations, and the approaching Financial Action Task Force inspection, are further reminders of the importance the UK and global community places on tackling terrorist financing.’

The new regulations: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2017/754/contents/made