Publication Date01 November 2001
Date01 November 2001
AuthorPaul Kingston
SubjectHealth & social care,Sociology
2© Pavilion Publishing (Brighton) Limited The Journal of Adult Protection Volume 3 Issue 4 • November 2001
Professional regulation continues to demand
ongoing discussions at the highest level of
government. While health and social policy
developments such as the NHS Plan and
Modernising Social Services both argued the
need for tighter professional regulation, it is
suggested that enquiries such as the Report of
the Bristol Royal Infirmary Inquiry (the
Kennedy report) have prompted a demand for
immediate political action.
The NHS Plan in July 2000 proposed the
formation of a UK Council of Health
Regulators to: ‘co-ordinate and act as a forum
for the particular bodies which regulate
individual health professions’ (DoH, 2001).
Such statements were supported by the
Kennedy report, which also supported the
need for a Council for the Regulation of
Healthcare Professionals. Responding to the
Kennedy report in July this year the secretary
of state commented that he would take action
on the recommendation following
consultation, alongside reforms of the
General Medical Council. The consultation
document seeks views on:
the functions of the Council for the
regulation of Healthcare Professionals
the extent to which responsibilities for the
functions of education, training,
continuing professional development,
revalidation and fitness to practice should
be held by the individual professional
regulatory bodies and the scope of the new
Council’s powers in co-ordinating such
the nature of the accountability of the
individual professional regulatory bodies
to the Council for the Regulation of
Healthcare Professionals
the mechanism for the accountability of
the Council for the Regulation of
Healthcare Professionals
and, when they are published, reforms to
the governance of the General Medical
The discussion paper rightly argues that it is
important that the various regulatory bodies
develop ‘common systems across the
professions, and to agree standards that put
patients’ interests clearly at the heart of
professional regulation’ (point 1.5). While it
is clear that reforms are already taking place –
for example, from April 2002 the United
Kingdom Central Council for Nursing,
Midwifery and Health Visiting (UKCC) and
the Council for Professions Supplementary to
Medicine (CPSM) are subject to legislation,
and will be replaced by the Nursing and
Midwifery Council (see point 2.3) – the
central view is that further work is required.
Clearly, one of the areas of confusion
surrounds the current accountability. At the
moment councils are responsible to differing
General Medical Council – Privy Council
United Kingdom Central Council –
secretary of state
Council for Professionals Supplementary
to Medicine – Privy Council
General Dental Council – Privy Council
General Optical Council – Privy Council

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