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IPEM responds to latest healthcare regulation consultation

A RESPONSE to a consultation about regulating healthcare professionals and protecting the public has been submitted by IPEM.

A joint submission was also made by IPEM on behalf of a coalition of like-minded organisations which formed last year to look at clinical technologists becoming registered professionals to help deliver better patient outcomes.

The coalition, led by IPEM, includes the Register of Clinical Technologists, the British Nuclear Medicine Society, the Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Estate Management, the Association of Renal Technologists, the Registration Council for Clinical Physiologists, the British Society of Echocardiography, the British Medical Ultrasound Society, and the Academy for Healthcare Science.

As well as IPEM submitting the joint response on behalf of the group, each organisation also undertook to submit an individual response.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) launched the consultation Healthcare regulation: deciding when statutory registration is appropriate earlier this year.

Members of IPEM’s Professional and Standards Council (PSC) produced the response to this latest consultation on the issue. This built on IPEM’s responses to two previous DHSC consultations on regulating healthcare professionals.

IPEM’s response

In the response to the consultation, IPEM highlighted a number of areas where it is felt a wholly inconsistent approach to statutory registration of professions is being applied, for example, radiographers and clinical technologists working in nuclear medicine.

The response also made the following points:

  • A qualitative and quantitative analysis of the risk of harm to patients is the most important factor to consider when deciding whether to regulate a health or care profession.
  • The regulatory landscape is currently inconsistent, which introduce risk to patients via variation in service provision.
  • Agreed that the currently regulated professions continue to satisfy the criteria for regulation and should remain subject to statutory regulation.
  • There is an opportunity for a review of the current accredited registers as set out by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA), which should include professions that are evolving into new areas of work. Where it can be shown that a profession’s scope of practice is changing, the PSA should be commissioned to risk assess the profession to determine whether a current unregulated profession should remain unregulated or whether it should be considered for statutory registration.

Dr Robert Farley, IPEM's President, said: 'This was an important consultation to respond to and I am grateful to members of the PSC for providing such a detailed response to it.

‘Once again it has given IPEM the opportunity to highlight our wish to see the introduction of statutory registration for clinical technologists.

‘It was also important for IPEM to submit a joint response on behalf of the action group to demonstrate the strength of feeling on this matter.’

Coalition meetings

The coalition led by IPEM met throughout last year and a series of meetings were also held with a range of bodies and individuals to seek their views on the current situation and the likelihood of achieving statutory registration for clinical technologists.

Those meetings included with MPs from both sides of the House of Commons, the PSA, Health Education England, officials from the Department of Health and Social Care, the Deputy Chief Scientific Officer for NHS England, and Scotland’s Chief Professional Officer for Healthcare Scientists.

Further meetings are being planned and a paper will then be produced for the coalition to agree on the way forward.

DHSC Healthcare Regulation Consultation Response March 2022 FINAL