Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

The HCPC has launched its new Threshold Policy (the Policy).

The Policy sets out the HCPC’s new approach to investigating fitness to practise concerns, and to decision making in the early stages of the investigation process. The regulator’s introduction of the Policy seeks to ensure that more serious and high-risk cases are prioritised and expeditiously progressed. The Policy replaces the previous Standard of Acceptance policy.

You can obtain more information here.

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

Under the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR), all Senior Managers must have a Statement of Responsibilities and all enhanced firms must have a Responsibilities Map.

The FCA has published guidance to help firms prepare for the SM&CR. The FCA’s aim in producing the guidance is to give FCA solo-regulated firms practical help and information on preparing Statements of Responsibilities and Responsibilities Maps. The guidance also provides examples of good and poor practice.

The guidance can be accessed here.

Care Quality Commission (CQC)

The CQC has published a report of independent doctor services in England. The principal finding was that safety is the biggest concern. Whilst the CQC noted much good practice, analysis found that just under half of independent consulting doctor services and slimming clinics were not providing safe care in accordance with the regulations on their first inspection.

The report looks at the quality of care being provided by:

  • private GP services
  • travel clinics
  • slimming clinics
  • circumcision clinics
  • allergy clinics
  • clinicians registered with the General Medical Council who provide consultations and/or treatments

You can access the report here

General Optical Council (GOC)

Disclosure is often a tricky area for many practitioners.

The GOC has launched a consultation on new draft guidance regarding disclosing confidential information about patients. The purpose of the guidance is to help registrants decide when they might need to override patient confidentiality in the public interest.

You can read and respond to consultation here

General Osteopathic Council (GOsC)

The GOsC is inviting views on a draft Practice Note on the cancellation of hearings under Rule 19. Rule 19 enables the GOsC or the individual registrant to make an application to conclude a case without a hearing. The GOsC states that the Practice Note has been drafted to take into account public protection and the wider public interest.

You can have your say and review the full consultation here.

National Health Service (NHS)

The NHS has published its Long Term Plan (the Plan) which was developed in partnership with frontline health and care staff, experts, patients and their families. The Plan’s main focus is to ensure that the NHS is fit for the future. The NHS intends to deliver the ambitions of the Plan by:

1. Doing things differently: giving people more control over their own health and care.

2. Preventing illness and tackling health inequalities: increasing the NHS’ contribution to tackling some of the most significant causes of ill health, i.e. drinking, smoking and Type 2 diabetes.

3. Backing its workforce: the NHS workforce is to be extended with training and recruitment of more professionals.

4. Making better use of data and digital technology: there will be a new NHS App as a digital ‘front door’, to better access digital tools and patient records.

5. Getting the most out of taxpayers’ investment in the NHS: working with doctors and other health professionals to identify ways to reduce duplication in how clinical services are delivered and making better use of the NHS’ combined buying power.

You can access the Plan here