Aug 31 / admin

Professional Regulation?

A number of us have recently received emails asking us to consider whether the General Osteopathic Council should continue as our regulator.

An alternative option put forward is to emulate the Physiotherapists, and a number of other professions, under the banner of the Health Professions Council. Each profession retains autonomy and protected title, and in addition has a professional body to act in their member's interest, and/or, as in the case of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, and the British Medical Association as a trade union.
What is best for our future?

The HPC currently regulates the following 14 professions. Each of these professions has one or more ‘protected titles’. Anyone who uses one of these titles must register with the HPC. To see the full list of protected titles please see:

Arts therapists
Biomedical scientists
Chiropodists / podiatrists
Clinical scientists
Occupational therapists
Operating department practitioners
Practitioner psychologists
Prosthetists / orthotists
Speech and language therapists

The Government has published a number of command papers making clear their views.  A short summary follows., with my italics for emphasis :
1. The Command Paper, ‘Enabling Excellence – Autonomy and Accountability for Healthcare Workers, Social Workers and Social Care Workers’ sets out the Government’s proposals on how the system for regulating healthcare workers across the United Kingdom and social care workers in England, should be reformed to sustain and develop the high professional standards of our health and social care staff and to continue to assure the safety of those using services and the public.
2. The Coalition Agreement set out a clear agenda for reducing bureaucracy and the regulatory burden. Compulsory and centralised statutory regulation is not necessarily the most effective or efficient way of ensuring high quality care and we will ensure that regulation of the health and social care professions is delivered in a fashion that is demonstrably proportionate, accountable, consistent, transparent and targeted.
3. The aim of the Command Paper is to achieve that balance: ensuring that professional regulation is proportionate and effective, imposing the least cost and complexity consistent with securing safety and confidence for patients, service users, carers and the wider public.

The following table may be of interest to many.

Regulator Annual Expenditure Number of registrants Fees
General Chiropractic Council 2,635,000 2,607 £1000 practising, £100 non-practising
General Dental Council 24,042,000 94,023 £576 Dentists

£120 Dental Care Professionals

General Osteopathic Council 2,848,000 4,250 £350 year 1

£500 year 2

£750 thereafter

Non-practising is 50% of normal fee

General Medical Council 80,617,000 239,309 £410 with license

£145 without

General Optical Council 4,019,000 24,295 £219 for registrants

£20 for students

General Pharmaceutical Council 15,900,000 58,664 £261 pharmacist

£142 Pharmacy technician

General Social Care council 18,696,000 100,882 £30 social Workers

£10 students

Health Professions Council 15,004,000 205,311 £76
Nursing and midwifery Council 36,738,000 665,599 £76
Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland 847,000 2,060 £372

Source: Data about the numbers of registrants and fees charged has been obtained from the CHRE or the relevant regulatory body. The above expenditure figures have been drawn from the latest available annual review for each body.

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