10 July 2018

Consultation on the revised Indicative Sanctions Policy

Policy officer Olivia Bird discusses our consultation on revising the current Indicative Sanction Policy, what may change and why it’s important to have your say. 

We are currently consulting on a proposed revised version of our Indicative Sanctions Policy, which sets out the principles that our Fitness to Practice (FtP) panels should consider when deciding what, if any, sanction should be applied in FtP cases.

The policy is an important one, as it aims to ensure that all FtP decisions are fair, consistent and transparent. The current policy has been kept up to date when required, for example to take account of any changes in case law. However we are now taking this opportunity to undertake a thorough review of the existing Policy and are seeking the views of our stakeholders on a revised version.

We have used market research, input from professional bodies and unions and a review of similar documents produced by other health regulators in order to put together a number of proposed changes to allow the policy to adapt to an increasingly challenging regulatory landscape.

With this in mind some proposed changes to the document include:

  • Providing clarity on what mitigation means. Following feedback from the independent market research we commissioned, we have outlined the differences between insight, remorse and apology, the relationship between these factors, and how their presence is likely to reduce the risk of harm to public and public confidence in the profession.
  • The new policy seeks to provide further clarity and detail to panels in relation to aggravating factors. We have been clearer about what aggravating factors are, providing detail on the key types and the reasons why they increase the risk to the public and public confidence in the profession.
  • The revised policy seeks to provide clarity on the differences between the sanctions available to the panel.
  • The revised policy introduces guidance on the approach panels should take at review hearings; including the purpose of those review hearings, and the factors the panel should take into account when deciding the outcome.

These are not the only changes, and we encourage registrants and other HCPC stakeholders to read the full document and respond. It is important that those who are interested in, or could be affected by, these changes take part to ensure that the policy is useful, clear and fit for purpose. 

You can respond to this consultation in one of the following ways:

By completing our easy-to-use online survey. 

By emailing us at: consultation@hcpc-uk.org

By writing to us at:
Consultation on revised Indicative Sanctions Policy
Policy and Standards Department
The Health and Care Professions Council
Park House
184 Kennington Park Road
SE11 4BU

02 July 2018

End of life care and the HCPC standards

Katherine Timms, Head of Policy and Standards, talks through end of life care and the HCPC’s standards

We know end of life care is extremely challenging and emotionally demanding, but it can also be extremely rewarding where health and care professionals have the right knowledge, skills and support.

In 2008 the then Department of Health published its End of Life Care Strategy which set out a vision for giving people approaching the end of their life more choice about where they would like to live and die.

The strategy highlighted that most people receive excellent care as their life draws to a close however, it did focus on the opportunities and the on-going challenges providing end of life care presents. In particular, that there was insufficient training available to health and care professionals in how to identify individuals approaching the end of their life, how to communicate and plan their care with them, and how to provide them with the care they need.

Ambitions for palliative and end of life care: a national framework for local action 2015-2020 (‘the ambitions’)

A great deal of work has been done since the End of Life Care Strategy was published:

new care processes have been developed;
new indicators of quality have been set;
new systems for scrutiny have been devised;
new systems for funding are under development; and
investment and innovation has led to significant progress, particularly in reversing the long term increase in the numbers dying in hospital.

The ambitions build on these positive changes and seek to improve outcomes to better individuals’ experience and quality of care. They set out what is needed across the whole system for good palliative and end of life care, and includes a focus on families, carers and staff.

How do these ambitions align with the HCPC’s Standards of conduct, performance and ethics?

The Standards of conduct, performance and ethics are the ethical framework within which our registrants must work, and include, amongst other things, expectations around treating service users and carers with respect, communicating appropriately and effectively, working within the limits of knowledge and skills, and managing risk.

The ambitions embody the principles outlined in the Standards of conduct, performance and ethics, in particular:

What does this mean in practice?

The ambitions require a change in focus, considering quality of life rather than rehabilitation or healing, which can be a challenging shift for health and care professionals who are used to providing active interventions intended to make people better.

Embodying the ambitions in practice means service users should be able to:

These practical applications are supported by the Government in the choice commitments they made in 2017 and can be found here along with an update on the national actions being taken to address these. Registrants should consider how they can enable the above ambitions, and where they face challenges in doing so, determine what support and training they need.

Where to go for further information

The Ambitions for Palliative and End of Life Care website is being developed in to a knowledge hub providing useful information and resources including assessment tools, best practice examples and case studies.

You can also get in touch with us at policy@hcpc-uk.org or on 020 7840 9815.