• CILEx welcomed the Legal Services Board’s paper detailing its recommendations for legislative reform to the regulatory framework for legal services. They stated how they were encouraged by the paper being underpinned by consumer interest and a proportionate risk-based approach to regulation by activity. However they went onto say there were some issues which needed clarification such as “the process for reviewing which activities are subject to regulation, a more detailed exploration of the use of professional; titles and how the integral issues of access to justice and protection of the rule of law remain a focus for any regulator".


  • Following a successful pilot study last year, the GDC has implemented a new process (“DSC NHS concerns handling”) for resolving patient concerns locally. This can only happen when agreement is in place by all parties and when a concern is sent to the GDC which does not “significantly impact on a dental professional’s ability to practise dentistry but falls into one or more of the referral criteria”. In this scenario the complaint will be resolved by the NHS. The GDC’s statement said: “This will allow the GDC to focus its resources on cases involving serious performance issues or investigating allegations of misconduct when someone’s clinical ability, attitude or behaviour results in either harm to a patient or where the risk of harm is significant.”


  • Dame Caroline Swift, retired High Court judge, has been appointed as the new Chair of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service, which makes independent decisions about a doctor’s fitness to practise medicine in the UK. She will take up her post from 1 January 2017.
  • Following the announcement about further industrial action by the doctors, the GMC issued a statement and advice. The advice acknowledged that “Parliament has not fettered the right of doctors to take industrial action, unlike some other professions and occupations. Doctors therefore have a right to strike and take industrial action. The question each doctor must ask, however, before taking action is whether what they are proposing to do is likely to cause significant harm to patients under his or her care or who otherwise would have come under his or her care. This is a matter of professional duty and we expect each doctor to comply with it.” The advice was then tailored for the following groups: 1) doctors contemplating industrial action 2) doctors in leadership roles 3) senior doctors and those not in training 4) employers.



  • The HCPC has launched a consultation on proposed changes to the standards of education and training (SETs) and supporting guidance. SETs are requirements for training programmes approved by the HCPC and demonstrate that all learners will meet the standards of proficiency for their profession, enabling them to become eligible for registration with the HCPC. The consultation runs until 25 November 2016 with revised standards rolling out from the 2017-18 academic year.


  • In July the Supreme Court ruled on a judicial review brought against Part 4 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 and found that the information-sharing provisions within the Act are incompatible with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. This will affect the provisions of the Act which were due to come into force in August 2016, where some nurses and midwives were to be appointed by a service provider to act as a Named Person. The NMC stated that their understanding from the Scottish Government was that “any current policy or practice relating to Named Person services outside of the provisions of the Act would not be affected.”


  • Following the announcement by the Government in July to implement changes to make it easier for ABS’ to enter into the legal services market, the SRA responded by welcoming the move. SRA Chief Executive stated “All the evidence suggestion ABS are good for competition and improving choice, while posing no greater regulatory risk.”
  • The SRA welcomed the publication of the Legal Services Board’s vision for legislative reform which “set out a strong case for regulation to be independent of both the government and professions….however we should pause for thought when considering fundamental constitutional changes, such as regulating by activity or moving to one single regulator. Some consolidation across the regulators seems to be inevitable in the longer term, but we must avoid being distracted by requiring the regulatory landscape to the extent that we blight much needed market reforms”