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Regulated businesses

 

Medical and healthcare professions

This page contains:


Introduction


Professional Standards Authority and Healthcare Regulatory Bodies


Indemnity cover

EU legislation

Reform of regulation


Chiropractors


Dentists


Health, care and social workers including:

  Chiropodist, Podiatrist;
  Clinical Scientist;
  Dietitian, Dietician;
  Biomedical Scientist;
  Occupational Therapist;
  Orthoptist;
  Paramedic;
  Physiotherapist, Physical Therapist;
  Prosthetist and Orthotist, Prosthetist, Orthotist;
  Diagnostic or Therapeutic Radiographer;
  Speech and Language Therapist, Speech Therapist; art drama music
  Operating Department Practitioner;
  Psychologist (Clinical, Counselling, Educational    Psychologist, Forensic, Health,
    Occupational,, Sport and exercise)
   Hearing Aid Dispenser;


Medical practitioners


Nurses and midwives


Opticians


Osteopaths


Pharmacists

Veterinary surgeon

 

Introduction

The practice and titles of most healthcare and medical professions are regulated by discrete legislation for each profession. However, under the Health Act 1999 s.60, Her Majesty may by Order in Council modify the regulation of any of the following professions:

* Chiropractors under the Chiropractors Act 1994;
* Dentists under the Dentists Act 1984;

* Health, care and (in England) social professions under the Health and Social Work     Professions Order 2001;
* Medical practitioners under the Medical Act 1983;
* Nurses and Midwives under the Nursing and Midwifery Order 2001;
* Pharmacists under the Pharmacy Order 2010 and the Pharmacy (Northern Ireland) Order 1976;
* Opticians under the Opticians Act 1989;
* Osteopaths under the Osteopaths Act 1993

Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care and Healthcare Practitioner Bodies

The Professional Standards Authority (PSA) (previously known as The Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence) is responsible for overseeing the UK’s nine health and care professional regulatory bodies:

* General Chiropractic Council;
* General Dental Council;
* General Medical Council;
* General Optical Council;
* General Osteopathic Council;
* General Pharmaceutical Council (Great Britain) and Pharmaceutical Society of Northern    Ireland;
* Health and Care Professions Council;
* Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

If the PSA considers that a decision of one of the above bodies has been unduly lenient, or should not have been made, and that it would be desirable for the protection of members of the public for the PSA to take action, it may refer the case to the administrative courts for review [National Health Service Reform and Health Care Professions Act 2002 s.29]; see e.g.

Professional Standards Authority v Nursing and Midwifery Council and Macleod
High Court, Queen’s Bench Division, Administrative Court  19/12/2014
[2014] EWHC 4354 (Admin)

Indemnity cover

Following a DoH consultation on the introduction of a requirement for all practising regulated healthcare professionals to hold an indemnity or insurance arrangement as a condition of their registration, the Health Care and Associated Professions (Indemnity Arrangements) Order 2014 (SI 2014/1887) came into force on 17 July 2014.

The Order makes amendments to the framework legislation for the regulation of doctors, dentists and dental care practitioners, optometrists and dispensing opticians, osteopaths, chiropractors, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, nurses and midwives, and the professions regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council, in relation to indemnity arrangements and professional liability insurance.

The amendments in this Order implement the main recommendations made by the Finlay Scott review which include the requirement for practising regulated healthcare professionals to have insurance or indemnity as a condition of registration (or in the case of a medical practitioner, a condition of obtaining a licence to practise).

The Order also implements Article 4(2)(d) of Directive 2011/24/EC (“the Directive”) on the application of patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare. Article 4(2)(d) of the Directive requires Member States to have in place systems of professional liability cover or similar in respect of cross-border healthcare for patients receiving treatment in the Member State in question.

EU legislation


Directive 2005/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 September 2005 is the main EU legislation governing the mutual recognition of professional qualifications in EU member states. Such legislation extends to some extent to EEA states and Switzerland. Detailed regulations implementing the provisions of this legislation are generally contained in the relevant UK legislation.

Reform of regulation of Health and Social Care Professionals

On 2 April 2014 the Law Commission published its review of the UK law relating to the regulation of health care professionals, and in England only, the regulation of social workers. The final report and draft Bill sets out a new single legal framework for the regulation of all health and social care professionals. The reforms aim to sweep away the out-dated and inflexible decision-making processes associated with the current legislation. The new legal framework would introduce a clear and consistent legal framework which is needed to enable the regulators to uphold their duty to protect the public.

The issues considered by the review included:
•The registration and renewal of registration of professionals, student registers, registration appeals, protected titles and protected functions
•How the regulators oversee the quality of pre-registration and post-registration education and training
•How the regulators set standards for professional conduct and practice, and ensure ongoing practice standards (for example, through revalidation)
•The investigation and adjudication of fitness to practise case
•The role of the Professional Standards Authority
•The regulation of business premises and activities
•The governance arrangements of the regulators, including the size and composition of Councils
•The systems through which the regulators can be held to account, including the roles of the Privy Council, Government and Parliament, and duties to consult the public.

On 31 October 2017 the Government published a consultation paper which includes many of our recommendations and seeks to builds upon the Law Commission's report.

Chiropractors

Legislation governing: Chiropractors are regulated under the Chiropractors Act 1994. A person who (whether expressly or by implication) describes himself as a chiropractor, chiropractic practitioner, chiropractitioner, chiropractic physician, or any other kind of chiropractor, is guilty of an offence unless he is a registered chiropractor.

Enforcement: a person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level five on the standard scale.

Regulatory body: General Chiropractic Council

Dentists

Legislation governing: Dentists are regulated under the Dentists Act 1984. A person who is not a registered dentist or a registered dental care professional may not practise or hold himself out, whether directly or by implication, as practising or as being prepared to practise dentistry.
An individual who is not a registered dentist or a registered medical practitioner may not carry on the business of dentistry unless he was engaged in carrying on the business of dentistry on 21st July 1955.
A person who is not a registered dentist, or a registered medical practitioner or visiting practitioner entered in the list of such practitioners may not take or use the title of dentist, dental surgeon or dental practitioner, either alone or in combination with any other word.
The practice of dentistry is deemed to include the performance of any such operation and the giving of any such treatment, advice or attendance as is usually performed or given by dentists

Enforcement: a person guilty of any of the above offences is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level five on the standard scale.

Regulatory body: General Dental Council

What’s new item on this topic::

09/04/2018: Milton Keynes resident prosecuted for illegal tooth whitening with Optima White

Source: General Dental Council

12/06/2013:  Tooth whitening is dentistry
General Dental Council v Jamous [2013] EWHC 1428 (Admin)

Health, care and social workers

Legislation governing: Social workers (in England) and certain health care practitioners in the UK are regulated under the Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001 (as amended) and the Health Professions (Parts of and Entries in the Register) Order of Council 2003 (as amended). By virtue of the 2003 Order, the following professions are regulated:

* Therapist, Art Psychotherapist, Dramatherapist, Music Therapist;
* Chiropodist, Podiatrist;
* Clinical Scientist;
* Dietitian, Dietician;
* Biomedical Scientist;
* Occupational Therapist;
* Orthoptist;
* Paramedic;
* Physiotherapist, Physical Therapist;
* Prosthetist and Orthotist, Prosthetist, Orthotist;
* Diagnostic or Therapeutic Radiographer;
* Speech and Language Therapist, Speech Therapist;
* Operating Department Practitioner;
* Practitioner Psychologist, Clinical Psychologist, Counselling Psychologist, Educational    * Psychologist, Forensic Psychologist, Health Psychologist, Occupational Psychologist, Registered Psychologist, Sport and exercise Psychologist;
* Hearing Aid Dispenser;
* Social Worker

Enforcement: subject to certain exceptions, a person commits an offence if with intent to deceive (whether expressly or by implication), he falsely represents himself to be registered in the Health Professions Register, he uses a title referred to in article 6(2) of the Order to which he is not entitled or if he falsely represents himself to possess qualifications in a relevant profession.


Subject to certain exceptions, a person who is not a registered hearing aid dispenser must not perform the functions of a dispenser of hearing aid

s.
A person guilty of an offence is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding  level five on the standard scale.

Regulatory bodies


Health and Care Professions Council


Social workers Regulatory bodies:


England


The Care Quality Commission regulates health and social care services generally. The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care and the Health and Care Professions Council both have roles in regulating social workers and social care workers. The Authority has responsibility in regard to health, safety and well being of users of health care, users of social care in England, users of social work services in England and other members of the public. The Council is responsible for professional matters.

Scotland


The Scottish Social Services Council


Northern Ireland


The Northern Ireland Social Care Council


Wales


Social Care Wales

 

Medical practitioners

Image of smiling young doctor in white coat


Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Legislation governing: Medical practitioners are regulated under the Medical Act 1983. Any person who wilfully and falsely pretends to be or takes or uses the name or title of physician, doctor of medicine, licentiate in medicine and surgery, bachelor of medicine, surgeon, general practitioner or apothecary, or any name, title, addition or description implying that he is registered under any provision of the Medical Act 1983, or that he is recognised by law as a physician or surgeon or licentiate in medicine and surgery or a practitioner in medicine or an apothecary, is guilty of an offence.

Enforcement: a person guilty of such an offence is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level five on the standard scale.
Recovery of fees: subject to certain exceptions, no person is entitled to recover any charge in any court of law for any medical advice or attendance, or for the performance of any operation, unless he proves that he is fully registered and holds a licence to practise.

Regulatory body: General Medical Council

Nurses and Midwives

cartoon image of nurse

Image courtesy of bandrat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Legislation governing: Nurses and Midwives are regulated under the Nursing and Midwifery Order 2001 and the Nurses and Midwives (Parts of and Entries in the Register) Order of Council 2004. By virtue of the 2004 Order, the following titles are regulated:

* Registered nurse: first level;
* Registered nurse: second level;
* Midwife;
* Specialist Community Public Health Nurse


A person commits an offence if with intent to deceive (whether expressly or by implication) he falsely represents himself to be registered in the register, or uses a title referred to in article 6(2) to which he is not entitled, or falsely represents himself to possess qualifications in nursing or midwifery.

Enforcement: a person guilty of an offence is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level five on the standard scale.

Regulatory body: Nursing and Midwifery Council

What’s new item on this topic [see What’s new page or archive for full item]:

06/01/2015: PSA successfully challenges Nursing and Midwifery Council’s panel decision

Social Care v Nursing and Midwifery Council and Macleod
High Court, Queen’s Bench Division, Administrative Court  19/12/2014
[2014] EWHC 4354 (Admin)

18/12/2013: HC Health Committee criticises Nursing and Midwifery Council
The House of Commons Health Committee has criticised the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) for not dealing with complaints swiftly enough. The Health Committee’s report analyses the accountability of the NMC in factors ranging from effective complaints procedures to language requirements. The Committee praised the NMC for the progress it has made since its previous accountability hearing.

Opticians

cartoon image of optician with test reading board

Image courtesy of iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Legislation governing: opticians are regulated under the Opticians Act 1989. Any individual who takes or uses the title of ophthalmic optician, optometrist, dispensing optician or enrolled optician when he is not registered in any of the registers, takes or uses any name, title, addition or description falsely implying that he is registered in any of the registers, or otherwise pretends that he is registered in any of the registers, is guilty of an offence.
The taking or use of the title of optician is taken to imply that the person is registered in one of the Opticians Registers. However, a person may rebut the implication if he proves that he took or, as the case may be, used the title in circumstances where it would have been unreasonable for people to believe that he was in fact registered in one of the registers.

Enforcement: a person guilty of this offence is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level five on the standard scale.

Regulatory body: General Optical Council

Osteopaths

Legislation governing: Osteopaths are regulated under the Osteopaths Act 1993. A person who (whether expressly or by implication) describes himself as an osteopath, osteopathic practitioner, osteopathic physician, osteopathist, osteotherapist, or any other kind of osteopath, is guilty of an offence unless he is a registered osteopath.

Enforcement: a person guilty of this offence is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level five on the standard scale.

Regulatory body: General Osteopathic Council

New items:

17/03/2015: Indemnity insurance:
The General Osteopathic Council (Indemnity Arrangements) Rules Order of Council 2015
‎17 ‎March ‎2015 require all practising osteopaths to have in place indemnity arrangements to cover specified risks at a minimum level of cover for such risks. The Rules prescribe a minimum aggregate level of cover (£5 million); the risks which must be covered by the indemnity arrangements.

Pharmacists

Image courtesy of iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Legislation governing: Pharmacists are regulated under the Pharmacy Order 2010 and (in Northern Ireland) the Pharmacy (Northern Ireland) Order 1976. A person who uses the title ‘pharmacist’, ‘pharmacy technician’ (or their equivalent in the Welsh language) without being entered as a pharmacist in the Register of Pharmacists etc. commits an offence. A person who practises as a pharmacist or as a pharmacy technician while not being entered as such in the register, commits an offence.

Enforcement: a person guilty of such an offence is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level five on the standard scale.

Regulatory body: General Pharmaceutical Council
Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland

Veterinary surgeon

The Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 s.19 provides that no individual shall practise, or hold himself out as practising or as being prepared to practise, veterinary surgery unless he is registered in the register of veterinary surgeons or the supplementary veterinary register.

Key definitions

'Veterinary surgery' means the art and science of veterinary surgery and medicine. It includes but is not limited to:
(a) the diagnosis of diseases in, and injuries to, animals including tests performed on animals for diagnostic purposes;
(b) the giving of advice based upon such diagnosis;
(c) the medical or surgical treatment of animals; and
(d) the performance of surgical operations on animals.

'Animals' “includes birds and reptiles;

[ Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 s.27]

Regulatory body: Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

 

Enforcement

Criminal: individual who acts in contravention of the prohibition is liableon summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £100 and )on conviction on indictment to an unlimited fine.

[Page updated: 09/03/2020]

 

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