Wednesday 09 January 2019
Proposals to introduce a proportionate and appropriate regulatory regime for health and care services in the Bailiwick of Guernsey have been published in a Policy Letter by the Committee for Health & Social Care, ahead of being debated by the States early in the New Year.
Regulation seeks to ensure public safety and confidence by establishing high standards of practice in the provision of health and care services and premises.
By requiring providers to be registered and regulated, their services can be properly monitored and assessed and, where they fall below the level expected of them, improvements can be required. This regulation will, therefore, raise standards not only for the benefit of the provider and their customers but also other health and care providers and the Bailiwick as a whole.
The proposals are designed to ensure that they:
- Protect citizens, residents and visitors.
- Are appropriate, proportionate and cost effective.
- Are open, transparent and understandable to all.
- Are focused on the needs of small island communities.
- Are evidence-based.
- Promote equality.
There are two types of regulation covered by the proposals:
- professional regulation, and
- premises and systems regulation.
Some health and care professionals are already regulated, such as doctors, pharmacists, dentists, nurses, and opticians. However, some are not regulated in Guernsey, including care agency staff, residential support workers and complementary therapists.
Practices and premises which are regulated in Guernsey includes community pharmacies.
Those premises currently not covered by regulation in Guernsey include: dental practices, psychotherapy and counselling premises, as well as States of Guernsey Hospital Services.
The Committee forHealth & Social Care is seeking to introduce an appropriate and proportionate system which will regulate all providers of health and care services under a new umbrella Enabling Law. This will be overseen by an independent Commission which will monitor activities through accreditation schemes and other regulatory standards that are set. It will have powers of inspection and enforcement where appropriate. It is intended that the Commission will be developed with Jersey, which introduced its Regulation of Care (Jersey) Law in 2014.
The costs associated with regulation will be proportionate to the size and scale of the islands and their needs. It is proposed that there will be a small core of staff with access to expertise when required, rather than have a large inspection function. It is envisaged that the Commission will offset a proportion of its costs through the raising of fees with the remainder being funded by the States of Guernsey. The proportion of the States/provider split and fee levels will be determined through consultation with providers.
A key driver in initiating this work was the Nursing and Midwifery Council's Review of Nursing and Midwifery services in the Bailiwick in 2015. It also forms an integral part of HSC's Partnership of Purpose Policy Letter which was approved by the States in December 2017.
President of the Committee for Health & Social Care, Heidi Soulsby commented:
"This is a key part of the Transformation of Health and Social Care and our journey towards a new model of care for the Bailiwick under the Partnership of Purpose. The emphasis has been on providing a proportionate regulatory framework which seeks to ensure public safety and confidence in providers of health and care services".
Subject to the approval of the Committee's proposals, she added:
"The next steps will be to draft the necessary primary legislation and progress the implementation of new regulatory standards and accreditation schemes. Further work will also be carried out in relation to the costs of regulation. Each of these work streams will be carried out in close consultation with stakeholders".
Dates for a series of drop-in sessions will be published shortly for anyone who is interested in the subject of regulation of health and care services. Anyone who has questions about the proposals can e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org