Health and Care Professions Council

On 2 October 2012, the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) launched a consultation to obtain the views of stakeholders on new standards for prescribing medication and has produced new standards in line with the consultation. The standards will apply to both supplementary and independent prescribing and will be published in a single document that will apply to all professions.  The consultation will run until 4 January 2013.

The General Medical Council

On 19 October 2012, the Secretary of State for Health, Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, announced that every doctor practising in the UK will be subject to regular checks to help improve the quality of patient care.  This new system, known as revalidation, means that all registered doctors will be required to show they are keeping up to date with developments within their area and are fit to practise.  Revalidation is due to start in December 2012.

The General Dental Council

The GDC is considering the removal of current restrictions which prevent patients seeing another member of the dental team (e.g. a hygienist) until after they have been referred by a dentist.  The Office of Fair Trading has called for the proposed change, known as ‘direct access’, to be implemented as soon as possible.

Security Industry Authority

Following a change in the law, brought into effect on 1 October 2012, it is now an offence to clamp, tow or immobilise a vehicle without lawful authority under the Protection of Freedoms Bill.  The Security Industry Authority (SIA) Vehicle Immobilisation licence will therefore no longer be valid in England and Wales. Licences will continue to be valid, and issued by the SIA, for use in Northern Ireland.

Solicitors Regulation Authority

On 27 and 28 September 2012, legal regulators from jurisdictions across the globe met in London to exchange ideas, compare best practice and explore ways in which they could improve collaboration.  Organised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the International Conference of Legal Regulators’ aim was to provide a platform for worldwide legal regulators to discuss the challenges they face and share ideas.  Following the success of the conference, regulators from the world’s leading legal centres have agreed to set up the first support network of its kind.

The Bar Council

The Bar Council aims to launch a new initiative offering emergency childcare packages for barristers in London, in a bid to help practising barristers manage their childcare arrangements. It is hoped that this will be fully operational by the end of 2012 and will be implemented nationwide next year.