Health Care & Professionals Act 2003

To ask the Minister for Health and Children the professions which have completed registration to the Health and Social Care Professionals Council and qualify to use the title of a designated Health and Social Care profession and where the determination of complaints relating to their fitness to practice has been completed under the Health and Social Care professionals Act 2005. – Dan Neville T.D.

for WRITTEN ANSWER on 11/05/2010

* To ask the Minister for Health and Children the professions which have completed registration to the Health and Social Care Professionals Council and qualify to use the title of a designated Health and Social Care profession and where the determination of complaints relating to their fitness to practice has been completed under the Health and Social Care professionals Act 2005. – Dan Neville T.D.

* To ask the Minister for Health and Children the professions which have completed registration to the Health and Social Care Professionals Council and qualify to use the title of a designated Health and Social Care profession and where the determination of complaints relating to their fitness to practice has been completed under the Health and Social Care professionals Act 2005. – Dan Neville T.D.

REPLY.

The ongoing regulatory programme undertaken by my Department has seen the introduction of the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005, providing for statutory registration for twelve designated health and social care professional grades, as follows:

  • Clinicial Biochemists
  • Dieticians
  • Medical Sceintists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Orthoptists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Podiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Radiographers
  • Social Care Workers
  • Social Workers, and
  • Speech and Language Therapists

The structure of the system of statutory registration will comprise a registration board for each of the professions to be registered, a Health and Social Care Professionals Council with overall responsibility for the regulatory system and a committee to deal with disciplinary matters. Arrangements for the establishment of the first of these registration boards are currently being finalised.

Part 6 of the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005, entitled “Complaints, Inquiries and Discipline”, refers to issues concerning Fitness to Practice. The Act sets out the grounds on which a complaint may be made to the Council, i.e. professional misconduct, poor professional performance or a failure to comply with a term or condition of registration imposed under this Part etc. As soon as practicable after receiving a complaint, the Council shall refer the complaint to a preliminary proceedings committee for its opinion on whether there is sufficient cause to warrant further action being taken in relation to the complaint. Following this consideration, the Act provides for steps to be followed if, in the opinion of the preliminary proceedings committee, the complaint does not warrant further action. If a preliminary proceedings committee is of the opinion that there is sufficient cause to warrant further action being taken there is the option to:

(a) refer the complaint for resolution by mediation or other informal means, or

(b) refer the complaint to a professional conduct committee or a health committee.

The Council may apply to the Court for an order directing a registration board to suspend the registration of a person against whom a complaint has been made if the Council considers that the suspension is necessary to protect the public until further steps are taken in relation to the complaint. It should be noted that this part of the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005 has yet to be commenced. Part 6 of the Act will need to be commenced in advance of the opening of the first register.