HL Deb 17 March 2005 vol 670 cc70-2WS
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner)

My right honourable Friend the Secretary of State for Health has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

On 27 January I announced that the Chief Medical Officer for England had agreed to carry out a review of the revalidation of doctors and related matters, following concerns expressed by Dame Janet Smith in her fifth report from the Shipman inquiry. Dame Janet focused her inquiries, as her remit required, on the medical profession. However, if changes are proposed to the arrangements for doctors, it is likely that they will have important implications for the regulatory arrangements for the other health professions, particularly where their roles are changing. And there may be other implications. I have therefore asked Mr Andrew Foster, director of Workforce, to lead a review of non-medical professional regulation. This review will run in parallel to the review into medical issues being conducted by Sir Liam Donaldson. It will consider and advise me about the measures needed to:

strengthen procedures for ensuring that the performance or conduct of non-medical health professionals and other healthcare staff does not pose a threat to patient safety or the effective functioning of services, particularly focusing on the effective and fair operation of fitness to practise procedures;

ensure the operation of effective systems of continuing professional development and appraisal for non-medical healthcare staff and make progress towards regular revalidation where this is appropriate; and

ensure the effective regulation of healthcare staff working in new roles within the healthcare sector and of other staff in regular contact with patients.

In the light of the above, it will further consider and recommend any changes needed to the role, structure, functions and number of regulators of non-medical healthcare professional staff. The director of Workforce is likely to report his conclusions and recommendations to me towards the end of the year.

As with CMO's review, there will be an advisory group, which will include experts from non-medical regulators and from the NHS. A larger reference group, which will include education and training bodies and professional organisations as well as consumer and healthcare quality interests, will also support this process.

The members of the advisory group are:

Andrew Foster (Chair) Director of Workforce, Department of Health (DH)
Chris Beasley Chief Nursing Officer
Kay East Chief Health Professions Officer
Professor Sue Hill Chief Scientific Officer
Professor Raman Bedi Chief Dental Officer
Dr Jim Smith Chief Pharmaceutical Officer
Harry Cayton Director of Patient and Public, DH
Jane Wesson Chairman, Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (CHRE)
Sandy Forrest Director, CHRE
Steve Barnet Director, NHS Employers
Alastair Henderson Deputy Director, NHS Employers
Jonathan Asbridge President, Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
Sarah Thewlis Chief Executive, NMC
Norma Brook President, Health Professions Council (HPC)
Marc Seale Chief Executive, HPC
Nic Greenfield Deputy Director of Workforce, DH
Steve Catling Head of Professional Standards, DH