Physician Assistants

The request was successful.

Dear Health Professions Council,

I am writing to make an open government request for all the information to which I am entitled under the freedom of information act. In order to assist you with this request, I am outlining my query as specifically as possible. If however this request is too wide or too unclear, I would be grateful if you could contact me as I understand that under the act, you are required to advise and assist requesters.

I am seeking information regarding Physician Assistants and would like to know the following:

-To date what communication has the HPC received and or been involved in regarding the use and implementation of this role [including proposed registration]. Please provide a copy of all communications received and sent.

-A draft proposal for registration was previously submitted by this profession. What recommendations did the HPC make as a result of this? Please provide a copy of all communications.

-I am aware that Physician Assistants are seeking registration with the HPC. Could you confirm the current status of the application for registration [or decision from the HPC concerning this]. Furthermore, based on a command Paper and Bill currently going through Parliament entitled 'Enabling Excellence - Autonomy and Accountability for the Health Care Worker, Social Worker and Social Care Worker' what is the current position of the HPC concerning Physician Assistants and professional registration and what recommendations has the HPC made to Physician Assistants as a result of the current bill going through Parliament. Please provide a copy of all communications received and sent.

I look forward to hearing from you within 20 working days.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Magnusson

Health Professions Council

This is an automated response - please do not reply.

Thank you for your request for information.
Your request will be evaluated as soon as possible.

When we respond in full we will tell you:

- if the information exists and it can be released to you, and any charges
relating to the supply of the information
- if the information exists but cannot be released to you (note the
Information Commissioner has a list of 13 reasons not to provide
information
- the information does not exist now due to destruction or has never
existed

You may provide more back ground information to help us find the
information you require if you wish. Please quote the "FOI Request #" in
any further correspondence concerning this request.

Best regards,

Freedom of Information team at HPC

HPC E-mail Disclaimer:
The material transmitted in this email is intended only for the person or legal entity to whom it is addressed and may contain confidential and privileged information. It may not be used or disclosed except for the purpose for which it has been sent. If you are not the addressee or have received this email in error please notify the sender and do not read, print, re-transmit, store or act in reliance on the material in this email.

show quoted sections

Health Professions Council

Dear Mr Magnusson

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 about physicians assistants.

We will deal with your request as promptly as possible and, at the latest,
within 20 working days. If you have any queries about your request please
contact us using this email address, or the address below.

The reference number for your request is FR 1196.

Yours sincerely
Freedom of Information team
Health Professions Council
Park House, 184 Kennington Park Road, London, SE11 4BU
[1]www.hpc-uk.org

From: Mr Magnusson <[FOI #69369 email]>
To: FOI requests at HPC <[HPC request email]>
Date: 20/04/2011 19:40
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Physician Assistants

show quoted sections

Health Professions Council

Dear Mr Magnusson

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request about physicians'
assistants.

I am writing to ask you to clarify whether you would like information
relating to both physicians' assistants and, in addition, physicians'
assistants (anaesthesia).

The Health Professions Council has recently considered an application for
regulation of physicians' assistants (anaesthesia) from the Association of
Physicians' Assistants (Anaesthesia). This group carries out invasive
procedures including intravenous and arterial cannulation to administer
drugs, and inserting devices in order to maintain a clear airway for
patients undergoing surgery or resuscitation.

I understand from my colleagues that some documents relating to this
request are quite large and may involve sending you several e-mails, due
to the size of the documents. I hope that this is acceptable, but please
let me know if you would prefer printed documents to be sent to you.

Yours sincerely

Colin Bendall
Secretary to Committees
Health Professions Council
Park House, 184 Kennington Park Road, London, SE11 4BU
[1]www.hpc-uk.org
HPC E-mail Disclaimer:
The material transmitted in this email is intended only for the person or
legal entity to whom it is addressed and may contain confidential and
privileged information. It may not be used or disclosed except for the
purpose for which it has been sent. If you are not the addressee or have
received this email in error please notify the sender and do not read,
print, re-transmit, store or act in reliance on the material in this
email.

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. file:///tmp/www.hpc-uk.org

Dear Health Professions Council,

Thank you for your email in regard to the Freedom of Information request I submitted on Physicians' Assistants. I can confirm I would like the information to include both Physicians' Assistants and Physicians' Assistants [Anaesthesia]. I can confirm I am happy to receive the documents via email.

If however due to costings you feel this request is too broad if you contact me again I would be happy to narrow my request.

Many thanks

Yours faithfully,

Mr Magnusson

Health Professions Council

This is an automated response - please do not reply.

Thank you for your request for information.
Your request will be evaluated as soon as possible.

When we respond in full we will tell you:

- if the information exists and it can be released to you, and any charges
relating to the supply of the information
- if the information exists but cannot be released to you (note the
Information Commissioner has a list of 13 reasons not to provide
information
- the information does not exist now due to destruction or has never
existed

You may provide more back ground information to help us find the
information you require if you wish. Please quote the "FOI Request #" in
any further correspondence concerning this request.

Best regards,

Freedom of Information team at HPC

HPC E-mail Disclaimer:
The material transmitted in this email is intended only for the person or legal entity to whom it is addressed and may contain confidential and privileged information. It may not be used or disclosed except for the purpose for which it has been sent. If you are not the addressee or have received this email in error please notify the sender and do not read, print, re-transmit, store or act in reliance on the material in this email.

show quoted sections

Health Professions Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Magnusson

Thank you for your request for information dated 20 April concerning
physician assistants.

This request is being handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

You requested the following information:

- To date what communication has the HPC received and or been involved in
regarding the use and implementation of this role (including proposed
registration). Please provide a copy of all communications received and
sent.

- A draft proposal for registration was previously submitted by this
profession. What recommendations did the HPC make as a result of this?
Please provide a copy of all communications.

A draft application from the United Kingdom Association of Physician
Assistants (UKAPA) was received in confidence by the HPC Executive late
last year for comment before the application was to be submitted to the
HPC Council.

I can confirm that HPC holds correspondence about the draft application.
However we are withholding that information since we consider that the
exemption under section 41 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 applies
to it. This is because the draft application was received in confidence
and the correspondence took place in confidence. The HPC contacted UKAPA
to determine whether the association would consent to its release.
However, UKAPA did not consent to the release of the draft application or
communications relating to it.

The status of the UKAPA application (and all other new professions
application to HPC) is addressed in the answer to the question below. In
short, the new professions process is now suspended and the Council will
not be considering the application from UKAPA.

If the Council eventually considers an application from UKAPA or any other
organisation, this would take place at a meeting of the Council held in
public. The submitted application would be published on the HPC website as
part of the Council papers at that time. The minutes of any meeting of the
Council held in public would also be published on the HPC website.

Please find attached a Winzip folder containing letters to the UKAPA and
the Association of Physicians' Assistants (Anaesthesia) (APA(A)) about the
end of the new professions process and the Council's decisions regarding
the Command Paper `Enabling Excellence'.

The separate application submitted by the APA(A) was considered at the
Council meetings on 9 December 2010 and 31 March 2011. The papers
considered by the Council at those meetings and the minutes of those
meetings are also in the attached Winzip folder.

I can confirm that the Health Professions Council holds correspondence
about the draft application from APA(A). However we are withholding that
information since we consider that the exemption under section 41 of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 applies to it, as the correspondence took
place in confidence.

- I am aware that Physician Assistants are seeking registration with the
HPC. Could you confirm the current status of the application for
registration (or decision from the HPC concerning this). Furthermore,
based on a command Paper and Bill currently going through Parliament
entitled 'Enabling Excellence - Autonomy and Accountability for the Health
Care Worker, Social Worker and Social Care Workers' what is the current
position of the HPC concerning Physician Assistants and professional
registration and what recommendations has the HPC made to Physician
Assistants as a result of the current bill going through Parliament.
Please provide a copy of all communications received and sent.

The recent Government Command Paper `Enabling Excellence - Autonomy and
Accountability for Healthcare Workers, Social Workers and Social Care
Workers' and the Health and Social Care Bill 2011 (`the Bill') set out the
Government's approach to professional statutory regulation. They are
relevant to groups considering making an application for statutory
regulation through the HPC's new professions/aspirant groups process. The
Command Paper is available on the Department of Health website at this
link:

[1]http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsands...

The Health Professions Order 2001 (the legislation which created the
Health Professions Council) allows HPC to make recommendations to the
Secretary of State for Health and to Scottish Ministers about the
statutory regulation of additional groups. HPC has published criteria
which are used to assess applications from aspirant groups before a
decision is made by HPC on whether to recommend statutory regulation of a
group. Although HPC can make a recommendation, the final decision about
whether statutory regulation should be introduced is one for the
Government and, ultimately, for the parliaments in Westminster and in
Holyrood. To date, HPC has made 12 recommendations and three professions
have joined the Register.

Chapter four of the Command Paper has clarified the present Government's
policy on extending regulation to other groups. In summary, the key points
are as follows.

- The Government does not believe that statutory regulation of all workers
in the health sector would be a proportionate approach. Emphasis is placed
instead on the role of the employer in taking responsibility for the
quality of the service provided. (page 16; paragraph 4.3)

- The paper outlines a system of `assured voluntary registration'. The
Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (CHRE), which has oversight
of the nine regulators of healthcare professionals, is to be renamed and
given powers to `accredit' or quality assure voluntary registers held by
professional bodies and other organisations. The Bill also includes powers
that would enable the statutory regulators to set up voluntary registers,
subject to impact assessment and consultation. (page 16; paragraph 4.4)

- A system of `assured voluntary registration' is considered by the
Government to be a better way of balancing improving quality with the
intention to `avoid introducing regulation with its associated costs
wherever possible'. The Paper indicates that in future statutory
regulation will only be considered in exceptional circumstances, where
there is a `compelling case' and where `voluntary registers are not
considered sufficient to manage the risk'. (page 18, paragraphs 4.11-4.12)

The Bill is currently before Parliament. Therefore, CHRE and the
regulators will not have any powers with regards to voluntary registration
until the Bill is passed and enacted.

At the Council meeting on 31 March 2011, the Council considered its
approach to voluntary registration as outlined in the Command Paper and
further discussed the value and continuing role of the new professions /
aspirant groups process. The Council decided to cease entertaining
applications through the process while it considers the impact of the
Command Paper and the Bill. In particular, the Bill would give the
regulators powers to establish voluntary registers, subject to impact
assessment and consultation. The Council is considering when and how it
might exercise these powers, including how they would interact with its
ability to make recommendations for statutory regulation.

This decision was reached as it was considered that there would be little
value in continuing to make recommendations for statutory regulation where
there appears to be little likelihood that these recommendations will be
implemented. Given the clear statement of Government policy in this area,
the Council was also cognisant of the need to manage the understandable
expectations of groups that still aspire to statutory regulation and
concluded that this would not be served by continuing to consider
applications.

In effect this means that the process is now closed and the Council will
not be considering any further applications. The Council will give no
further consideration to the application for the regulation of physician
assistants or physicians' assistants (anaesthesia) at this time.

If you are dissatisfied with the way the Health Professions Council has
handled your request for information, you can request a review by writing
to:

Louise Hart, Secretary to Council, Health Professions Council, Park
House,184 Kennington Park Road, London SE11 4BU

Email: [2][email address]

If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request or complaint,
you have a right of appeal to the Information Commissioner at:

The Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

Telephone: 08456 30 60 60 or 01625 54 57 45 Website: [3]www.ico.gov.uk

There is no charge for making an appeal.

Yours sincerely

Colin Bendall
Secretary to Committees
Health Professions Council
Park House, 184 Kennington Park Road, London, SE11 4BU
[4]www.hpc-uk.org

Follow us on [5]Facebook, [6]Linkedin and [7]Twitter
To sign up to the HPC e-newsletter, please email [email address]

Please consider the environment before printing this email

HPC E-mail Disclaimer:
The material transmitted in this email is intended only for the person or
legal entity to whom it is addressed and may contain confidential and
privileged information. It may not be used or disclosed except for the
purpose for which it has been sent. If you are not the addressee or have
received this email in error please notify the sender and do not read,
print, re-transmit, store or act in reliance on the material in this
email.

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsands...
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.ico.gov.uk/
4. file:///tmp/www.hpc-uk.org
5. http://facebook.com/hcpcuk
6. http://www.linkedin.com/groupRegistratio...
7. http://twitter.com/HPC_news