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The recent publication of two key documents by HM Government "Reducing Regulation Made Simple" and the Command Paper "Enabling Excellence" would appear to confirm recent suggestions that the Coalition Government does not support statutory regulation as the standard for healthcare professionals and yet again this throws into question IMI and CAMIP’s on-going quest for the statutory regulation of clinical photographers despite their application being approved by the Health Professions Council in 2003/04.
The papers indicate that the Government’s preference will be to manage unregulated healthcare professionals using a combination of the Vetting and Barring Scheme and the use of assured voluntary regulation and although the papers lack detail there is a statement in the command document (4.11) which says: "For the overwhelming majority of occupational and professional groups which are not currently subject to statutory regulation and which are generally not considered to present a high level of risk to the public, but where recommendations that regulation should be introduced have been made (including those groups recommended by the HPC for statutory regulation in the past, but not yet registered), the assumption will be that assured voluntary registration would be the preferred option."
This is very disappointing for our members who have waited patiently for the legislation to be developed to enable statutory regulation. It also throws into question where this leaves the Modernising Scientific Careers programme (MSC) which promised automatic regulation for HCS Practitioners on qualifying.
A further statement in the command document (4.12) states: “The extension of statutory regulation to currently unregulated professional or occupational groups, such as some groups in the healthcare science workforce, will only be considered where there is a compelling case on the basis of a public safety risk and where assured voluntary registers are not considered sufficient to manage this risk.”
We have sought clarity on this matter from the DoH’s Chief Scientific Officer, Sue Hill and have been advised that risk analyses of currently unregulated Healthcare Science professions will be undertaken and that a formal statement on regulation will be issued within the next few weeks.
We will of course keep you informed of further developments.
Andy Johnson IMI Chairman
Carol Fleming IMI Regulation Lead