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Understanding public protection

Date of publication: 09/01/2013
Category: Research
Audience: Education providers, Employers, Journalists and media, Members of the public, Prospective registrants, Registrants
This research was commissioned from Picker Institute and is the latest in our series of research reports on the fitness to practice process. Using qualitative and quantitative methods, the research explored public and professional understanding of the concept of ‘public protection’ and how and why judgements are made about ‘impaired’ fitness to practice.

The key findings from this study were that both the public and professionals viewed dishonesty, use of illegal substances and shoplifting as the most serious impairments. Knowledge of illegality combined with intent was considered incompatible with what the public expected of a health and care professional. When asked what a good experience of care looked like, participants described professionals who were ‘person centred’ and passionate about their work. Technical competence in the absence of a genuinely personalised approach was not enough.

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