New alternatives to statutory regulation for currently unregulated health and occupational professions have been proposed by a specialist working group, Health Minister Ann Keen announced today.
The Extending Professional Regulation Working Group has recommended that unregulated groups could be covered by new licensing laws, which will reassure patients and the public that they are getting the highest quality of care possible.
Recommendations in the Working Group’s report: Extending Professional and Occupational Regulation include:
- Making safe, effective and high quality care the top consideration when deciding on the most appropriate form of regulation for each profession;
- A suggested menu of regulatory alternatives to statutory regulation that are tailored to any risk posed by the particular profession or occupational group;
- A new ‘Gatekeeper’ role in which an existing or newly created organisation will act as an advisory body for future regulation and work in partnership with key stakeholders
Health Minister Ann Keen said:
“I welcome this report and thank the group, and the Chair Dr Moira Livingston, for their work in making sense of the complexities surrounding extending regulation to new health professions and occupational groups.
“The working group has remained focused on the primary purpose of regulation which is to ensure safe and effective care for patients.
“We want to develop alternatives to statutory regulation that will improve the quality and safety of care of patients without imposing unnecessary red tape.”
Chair of the Extending Professional Regulation Working Group, Dr Moira Livingston said:
“This was a long and complex process but our recommendations are clear – future decision making should ensure that regulatory solutions are in line with the risks posed by such groups.
“We look forward to seeing how the Department of Health will take forward this work.”
The report does not commit Government to firm changes in policy at this stage. The Department of Health will now assess their full implications before any implementation.