Help shape the future of healthcare regulation


The Department of Health has today launched a 12 week public consultation on the reform of the United Kingdom (UK) professional regulatory system.

They are seeking views from patients, the public, employers and healthcare professionals.

Promoting professionalism, reforming regulation considers key changes that are required across healthcare regulation to support workforce development while maximising public protection. The proposals are supported by all four UK governments. 

NHS Employers will submit a collective response to the consultation on behalf of employers. To have your say, complete our online survey.

The proposed model of regulation has five key objectives which aim to:

  1. Improve public protection
  2. Support the development of a flexible workforce so that it can swiftly adapt to changing patterns of healthcare, develop new roles and news ways of working without the consistent need for legislative changes
  3. Deal with concerns about fitness to practise in a more proportionate and responsive way
  4. Provide greater support to regulated professionals in delivering high quality care
  5. Consider whether the current number and set up of health regulatory bodies is effective and efficient.
Have your say

To help inform our response to the consultation, we would like to seek employer views via our online survey. The survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete and should be read in conjunction with the consultation document which is available on the DH website. Our deadline for responses is close of play on 12 January 2018. 

Employers and healthcare professionals may also wish to respond directly to the Department of Health by their deadline of 23 January 2018. 


While healthcare regulators are generally effective in protecting the public from serious harm, the UK's existing regulation model is underpinned by a legislative framework which in parts is over 150 years old. A piecemeal approach to making improvements over many years has resulted in the system becoming slow, expensive and confusing for employers, staff and patients alike. 

32 professions are currently statutorily regulated by nine independent healthcare professional regulators. A further 55 occupations are covered by 24 accredited voluntary registers. 

The Law Commissions of England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland published a comprehensive review of the legal framework for professional regulations in the UK in 2014. The Government responded to this in January 2015. Promoting professionalism, reforming regulation builds on the Law Commission's recommendations and considers what reforms are needed across all four countries. 

For more information about regulation, please visit the professional regulation, statutory regulation and voluntary regulation sections of the NHS Employers website. 

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