We handle cases where healthcare professionals are being investigated by their regulatory body, the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). The HCPC is responsible for regulating the following professions: arts therapists, biomedical scientists, chiropodists, podiatrists, clinical scientists, dietitians, hearing aid dispensers, occupational therapists, operating department practitioners, orthoptists, paramedics, physiotherapists, practitioner psychologists, prosthetists, orthotists, radiographers, and speech and language therapists.
The Regulatory Process
The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) took over responsibility for the regulation of healthcare professionals with effect from the 1st August 2012.
The disciplinary process that the HCPC has adopted is as follows:-
- Investigation - once a fitness to practice concern has been raised with the HCPC, an investigation is carried out by a case manager. The healthcare professional is notified, and has 28 days to formally respond to the allegations. The case manager then passes the matter on to a panel within the investigating committee to determine whether there is a case to answer. Should the panel decide that there is a case to answer, then the matter is set down for a formal hearing. Solicitors then prepare the case for a hearing on behalf of the HCPC
- Hearing - the case will be prepared for the hearing by solicitors on behalf of the HCPC. The matter will either be heard by a panel of the Conduct and Competence Committee (for cases relating to convictions or cautions, determinations by another regulator, misconduct, lack of competence, and decisions on barring a professional), or a panel of the Health Committee (for cases where it is felt that the health of the healthcare professional is adversely affecting their decision making ability), or another panel of the Investigating Committee (for cases relating to fraudulent or incorrect registration). Witnesses can be called and evidence produced by both sides, and the healthcare professional will be given a full opportunity to make representations and present evidence in their defence. The HCPC case will be overseen by a presenting officer, who is usually a solicitor
- Decision and sanctions - should the HCPC panel determine that the case against the healthcare professional has been proved on the balance of probabilities, then the following sanctions are available to the panel: take no further action, or order mediation to determine whether a solution can be agreed, or caution the healthcare professional (where a warning would be placed on their registration details for between 1 - 5 years), or place practice conditions on the healthcare professional, or suspend the healthcare professional from practising, or strike the healthcare professional off the Register (which would prevent the healthcare professional from practising)
- Appeal - the healthcare professional can appeal the decision of the HCPC to the High Court.
Internal Disciplinary Proceedings
We also assist and represent healthcare professionals where they are the subject of internal disciplinary proceedings by their employer
What To Do If Regulatory Proceedings Are Commenced Against You
Should internal disciplinary proceedings or HCPC regulatory proceedings be commenced against you, then please either telephone us on 0333 301 0700, or complete the questionnaire opposite.