The Department of Health and Social Care is requesting views on the arrangements for deciding which health and care professions should be regulated in future. Its consultation Healthcare regulation: deciding when statutory regulation is appropriate is now open and provides an opportunity to give perspectives on this fundamental question of patient protection.
Although there are no immediate plans to introduce or remove professions from regulation, the Health and Care Bill does include new powers for the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to decide which professions should be covered by regulation in future. It also seeks views on what factors need to be considered as the basis for deciding when the protective umbrella of regulation becomes necessary to prevent harm to patients and the public in the delivery of health and care services.
We have a pressing need for reforms in dentistry, to address the issues caused by our outdated legislation and free us from some of the very prescriptive rules which limit our ability to innovate and improve how we operate.
While we welcome this consultation and encourage stakeholders to engage with the proposals, the reforms that we need do not necessarily look to how professional regulation is organised. We are calling for greater flexibility and a faster pace of reform so that patient safety and public confidence can be ensured through effective registration of all dental professionals.