Government starts work on Law Commission health care and mental capacity recommendations

The Government has launched a new consultation looking at the regulation of health care professionals, based on recommendations from a 2014 report by the UK Law Commissions.

The Regulation of Healthcare Professionals report proposed major changes to the way in which health and social care professionals are regulated in the UK.

The report’s reforms aim to consolidate and simplify the existing legal framework, and impose greater consistency across the regulators in some areas, such as the conduct of fitness to practise hearings.

Key recommendations included:

  • new powers for the regulators to make their own rules
  • a new barring scheme to prevent certain professionals who have committed serious crimes from practising
  • greater use of mediation in fitness to practice proceedings
  • consistency across the regulators in the way that fitness to practise hearings are conducted
  • enhanced duties on the regulators to consult the public and work collaboratively
  • less Government interference in the rule making process and the appointment of the regulators/PSA boards

Now the Government has responded with a consultation to bring forward these recommendations.

At the same time, Health Minister Jackie Doyle-Price has issued an interim response to the 2016 Mental Capacity and the Deprivation of Liberty report.

In a Written Ministerial Statement, the Minister said:

“I welcome the publication of the Law Commission’s report which we are carefully considering and thank them for their careful and considered work.

“We will now engage with a range of stakeholders to understand in greater detail how these changes can be implemented.”

The Government promised a final response in spring 2018.