Received from: HCSA
Congress notes the government’s plan to grant new powers to health regulators to set their own rules and remove much of their functioning from parliamentary oversight and legislation.
Congress agrees that regulators play an important role in policing professional standards among health workers, but believes that this power comes with responsibility and to ensure fairness requires the utmost transparency and balance.
Congress notes that medical regulator, the General Medical Council, has this year faced criticism for an approach to allegations aimed at building the case for charges rather than truly impartial investigation, which subsequently saw it found guilty of racial discrimination by an employment tribunal.
Congress believes that for regulators to operate fairly and in the interests of all parties, accountability, remits and processes need to be enshrined in law and should not be written by the regulators themselves.
Congress further believes that health regulators should remain fully accountable to the public and the professions which they regulate and as such the best route to achieve this is proper parliamentary scrutiny of their activities, set out in law.
Congress therefore calls on the General Council to:
i. voice its concern over current proposals for reform of health regulators
ii. oppose the proposal to grant health regulators the power to set their own rules and processes
iii. lobby to ensure that the activities are subject to democratic scrutiny and that their processes and rules continue to be set out transparently in law.
Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association