Regulating the regulators

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7334.378 (Published 16 February 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:378

The “overarching council” does not have an overarching vision

  1. Steve Dewar, fellow (sdewar@kehf.org.uk),
  2. Belinda Finlayson, research officer
  1. Health Care Policy Programme, King's Fund, London WIG OAN

    The British government has plans for a new council to oversee the eight statutory regulators of health professionals (see box). The plans went out for consultation in the summer1 and are included in a bill currently before parliament.2 Proposals for the new overarching council were mooted in the NHS plan and backed by the recent Kennedy report into children's heart surgery at the Bristol Royal Infirmary. 3 4

    Under the proposals the new Council for the Regulation of Health Care Professionals will “build and manage” a coordinated and consistent framework for regulation across health professions. It will put patients first and ensure open, transparent, and consistent procedures within each regulatory body. The council will comprise representatives of the public, the professional regulatory bodies, and government appointees (to be in a majority of one) including members of the public, and health service managers. It will be led by a chairperson appointed, for the first term, by the secretary of state. The council will be able to require regulators to change their procedures; refer their decisions on individual cases to the high court when it judges such an appeal to be in the public interest; and investigate claims of maladministration.

    The council is a …

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