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  5. GOsC welcomes consultation on proposed reforms for professional regulation

GOsC welcomes consultation on proposed reforms for professional regulation

25 March 2021

The General Osteopathic Council welcomes the opportunity to further engage with the consultation process on proposals for reforming professional regulation.

The Department of Health and Social Care has published a consultation (24 March 2021) ‘Regulating healthcare professionals, protecting the public’. The consultation, which allows you to submit your response online, is open until 16 June 2021 and looks at reform across four key areas:

  • Governance and Operating Framework
  • Education and Training
  • Registration
  • Fitness to practise

The Government intends to implement these changes for each healthcare professional regulator beginning with the General Medical Council.

Matthew Redford, GOsC’s Chief Executive and Registrar, said: ‘The GOsC welcomes the opportunity to respond to this consultation which has the ambition of reforming the legislation of the healthcare regulators.

‘We share this ambition as we recognise that legislation which is inflexible, outdated and prescriptive, hampers the efforts of regulators to fulfil their statutory objectives of protecting the public.

‘The protection of the public and patients, who should be at the heart of the reforms, is best achieved through the exercise of legislation which is proportionate, agile and cost effective’.

The consultation will also consider next steps for the reform of professional regulation, and builds on the White Paper ‘Integration and innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all’ that was announced by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care in February 2021.

The White Paper, which set out plans for a new Health and Care Bill, seeks to extend the powers of the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to make changes to the regulation of healthcare professions, including the power to remove a profession from regulation, to close down a regulator and the power to allow regulators to delegate functions to another body.

Matthew continued: ‘An independent review will be commissioned to consider how these powers might be used and we at the GOsC look forward to engaging positively with this review when it commences.

‘We are pleased to have been involved in shaping these proposals in partnership with the other professional regulatory bodies and the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care and we would very much encourage all stakeholders to respond to this consultation so we can ensure that patient safety remains at the core of focus for regulatory reform’.

Read more and respond to the regulatory reform consultation