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To date the following groups of healthcare scientists have been recommended for statutory regulation by the HCPC:
Clinical perfusionists (September 2003)
Clinical physiologists (October 2003)
Clinical technologists (May 2004)
Medical illustrators (May 2004)
Maxillofacial prosthetists and technicians (September 2005)
In 2007, the Government published a White Paper ‘Trust, Assurance and Safety – the Regulation of Health Professionals in the 21st Century ’ which identified healthcare scientists as a priority group for future regulation.
Modernising scientific careers
Alongside this, the four UK health departments have been undertaking an on-going project called ‘Modernising Scientific Careers’ which has been looking at reforming the way in which healthcare scientists will be trained and employed in the future.
In November 2008 the four UK health departments published a consultation document looking at the future of the healthcare science workforce. We responded to the consultation – you can download a copy of our response here. We argued that statutory regulation of these groups was important for public protection.
You can find out more about the Modernising Scientific Careers programme on the Department of Health website.
More recently, in February 2011, the Government published the Command Paper ‘Enabling Excellence – Autonomy and Accountability for Healthcare Workers, Social Workers and Social Care Workers'. Please see this page for more information.
The Government will only consider extending statutory regulation, including to groups in the healthcare science workforce, where there is ‘a compelling case on the basis of a public safety risk and where assured voluntary registers are not considered sufficient to manage this risk’.