This question is the subject of a consultation by the PSA on broader engagement with stakeholders when assessing the performance of healthcare regulators.

The Professional Standards Authority consultation, Assessing risk: what’s the best way to identify risks to public protection and public confidence through the performance review process?, seeks views on “engagement with stakeholders” that it says includes proposals to “engage more with a wider range of stakeholders, including members of the public, the regulators, registrants and representative bodies, as well as employers.”

“Registrants often have direct experience of how a regulator is operating”

The consultation acknowledges that “registrants and members of the public often have direct experience of how a regulator is operating, giving them a better idea about what’s working well and what isn’t. We want to make sure we’re connecting with the right people and that this information is informing our assessment of the regulators.”

An important proposal set out in the consultation and associated with the stake holder engagement, is the question of regulator’s understanding of the clinical risks associated with practitioners and how this is subject to change overtime.  The PSA clearly sees the value and insight registrants can bring to conversations around assessing and responding to emerging clinical risk.

Thematic reviews

A final word on the PSA consultation. The Professional Standards Authority is also proposing thematic reviews to identify “where risks exist in the regulatory system, understand potential regulatory failings, as well as to support learning and development across the sector.”

Here to the role and input from registrants could prove an effective catalyst for change.  We often hear from healthcare professionals frustrated at fitness to practise procedures and processes.  These frustrations are not limited to individual’s privately held views and experiences.  The adverse impact on healthcare professional’s health and wellbeing when faced with fitness to practise investigations is well documented through research and applicable to all of the UK’s healthcare regulators.  

Thematic reviews have the potential to give a stronger voice to healthcare professionals across the spectrum of health and medical regulation.

The deadline for responding to the consultation on our approach to reviewing the regulators is 4 March 2021.

Disclaimer: This article is for guidance purposes only. Kings View Chambers accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever for any action taken, or not taken, in relation to this article. You should seek the appropriate legal advice having regard to your own particular circumstances.

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