Impact of Covid-19 must be factored into regulators' decision-making

  • Date: 23 April 2021

MDDUS has again backed calls for the impact of Covid-19 to be factored into regulators' decision making, in light of a new Professional Standards Authority report, Learning from Covid-19.

The report identifies new ways of working introduced by regulators (such as online fitness to practise hearings and course accreditation) and identifies potential changes in practice that could be adapted as the "new normal", and where further planning, research and discussion is needed.

Commenting on the report, Dr John Holden, chief medical officer at MDDUS, said: "Doctors have given their all throughout the pandemic, often in circumstances that put them in harm's way or required them to work beyond their usual scope of practice.

"So it is welcome progress to see the PSA endorse our view that work will need to be done to assess the impact of Covid-19 on practice and how this should be taken into account in the regulators’ processes and decisions.

"We now look to the PSA and the health professional regulators to work together to ensure doctors can have peace of mind that they will be treated fairly and proportionately, in the case of a complaint or regulatory process, while patients are reassured their rights are protected.

"Anything less would be a poor response to the many thousands of healthcare professionals who have risked their health, and that of their families, to respond to this national emergency."

Mr Stephen Henderson, head of dental division at MDDUS, said: “Dentists have also given their all throughout the pandemic.

“We agree with the PSA that the pandemic has highlighted an urgent need for regulatory reform. We urge caution to those who want to rush to see this work concluded.

"Reform must be fundamental, long lasting and wide-ranging, as we will not see value in the reform process unless it is delivered across the board. In particular it will be vital to ensure reform of the General Dental Council does not lag behind other regulators including the GMC."

This page was correct at the time of publication. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.

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