Law Commissions’ Final Report on the Regulation of Health and Social Professionals

The Law Commissions of England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland have today published their final report and a draft Bill on the regulation of health and social care professionals.

This recommends that a UK-wide single statute be established for the regulation of health and social care professionals that would provide regulators with new powers and duties, and set them a clear main objective of protecting the public. If implemented, our recommended reforms, would:

• empower regulators to investigate proactively instances of suspected poor conduct and practice whenever such concerns come to their attention
• bring consistency to, and extend, the range of sanctions that can be imposed by regulators’ fitness to practise panels, and
• for the first time, empower regulators to discipline or strike off professionals who are not able to communicate clearly in English.

Our reforms would also implement the recommendations of the public inquiry into the scandal at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust (the Francis report) that the regulators should have wider powers to investigate poor professional practice and to reconsider cases that have been closed following a mistake or error.

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