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Command Paper Response 'Enabling Excellence'

Date of publication: 17/02/2011
Category: Position statement
Audience: Journalists and media
The Health Professions Council (HPC) notes the publication of the Governments command paper ‘Enabling Excellence' published on 16 February 2011.

The paper outlines powers included in the recent Health and Social Care Bill 2011 which would allow the HPC to set up voluntary registers and says that for currently unregulated groups, voluntary registration will in future be the Government's preferred option. However it also says the Government will consider statutory regulation where there is a compelling case on the basis of public safety risk and where assured voluntary registers are not considered sufficient to manage the risk. It further proposes that the HPC should explore with Government the scope for putting in place a system of voluntary registration for the adult social care workforce, with a view to opening a Register for Social Care Workers in 2013.

The report sets out the government’s intentions for the regulation of herbal medicine practitioners and traditional Chinese medicine practitioners, specifically with regard to the use of unlicensed herbal medicines within their practice. It acknowledges that the HPC is an established and experienced regulator and recommends we create a statutory register for practitioners supplying unlicensed herbal medicines. The four UK Health Departments will consult jointly on the draft legislation that will be required and, subject to parliamentary approval, the Government will aim to have the legislation in place by 2012.

The Council will be reviewing the implications of the report at the next Council meeting on 31st March 2011.

The HPC will work with the government, the CHRE (to be renamed the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care) and other stakeholders on the proposals included in the paper to enhance public protection.

- Ends -

Notes to Editors:

1. The Health Professions Council is an independent, UK-wide health regulator set up by the Health Professions Order (2001). The HPC keeps a register for 15 different health professions and only registers people who meet the standards it sets for their training, professional skills, behaviour and health. The HPC will take action against health professionals who do not meet these standards or who use a protected title illegally.

2. HPC currently regulate the following fifteen 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
Hearing aid dispensers
Occupational therapists
Operating department practitioners
Practitioner psychologists
Prosthetists / orthotists
Speech and language therapists
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