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Abolish the Health Professions Council (HPC)

Comment 1st July 2010

The Health Professions Council (HPC) is one of several bodies that implement the socially corrosive theory that while professionals cannot be trusted, a quango operating a national database can. All its activities duplicate and subvert the work of the courts, employment tribunals, local management procedures or professional associations.

It should be abolished completely, freeing health professionals from double jeopardy, allowing local procedures for discipline and criminal justice to operate without interference, and encouraging professional associations to take responsibility for their members.

Note: The abolition of an equivalent body 'regulating' teachers, the General Teaching Council for England, has already been announced to Parliament.

Why does this matter?

Civil liberties: The HPC erodes civil liberties by causing double jeopardy — a health professional can be tried independently by the HPC after being tried in a court of law or by another body.

Unnecessary laws: The HPC applies unnecessary laws (Section 60 of the Health Act 1999, and related Orders), which duplicate other more local and more effective ways to respond to wrongdoing by health professionals.

Business regulation: The HPC makes running a business or other organisation in the healthcare sector more complicated and less accountable to the public, by duplicating regulations and disciplnary procedures, and by acting as a deterrent to whistleblowers (which in turn allows bad practices to accumulate unchallenged).

Value for money: In addition, the HPC fails to provide value for money according to all nine of the criteria in section 2.5 of the June 2010 Treasury Spending Review Framework.

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