The Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC) has published it annual fitness to practise report indicating a 5% increase in fitness to practise complaints. 

The HCPC’s fitness to practise annual report provides an overview of the HCPC’s fitness to practise work undertaken between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019 including key statistics and insights. 

The HCPC reported there were 2,424 complaints raised in 2018–19, which constituted a 5.3% increase compared to the previous year. However, the proportion of registrants who had concerns raised about their fitness to practise remained very low, at 0.66%, with only 0.06% subject to a sanction. 

The largest number of concerns (47%) were submitted by members of the public, followed by registrants’ employers (24%). The third largest group (18%) was registrants themselves. 

Of the 2,917 cases we closed: 

  • 62% were closed as they did not meet our Standard of acceptance or Threshold policy respectively;
  • 19% were concluded at Investigating Committee panels as, on further investigation, they did not meet our Standard of acceptance or Threshold policy;
  • 12% were concluded at final hearings; and
  • 7% were concluded at review hearings.

“HCPC failing in fitness to practise standards” 

In August the Professional Standards Authority published its annual performance review of the HCPC and found that the HCPC failed to meet six of the ten fitness to practise standards.   

In the 2019 annual fitness to practise report, the HCPC said it “concluded a major programme of work” designed to address the areas for improvement identified in the Professional Standards Authority. 

Key improvements made during 2018–19 include: 

  • implementing a new Threshold policy for fitness to practise investigations setting out a new approach to investigating concerns in the early stages and to ensure that more serious and high-risk cases are prioritised and advanced;
  • implementing a new approach to the investigation of health matters;
  • developing e-learning materials to help teams assess and manage risks to ensure public protection;
  • publishing self-referral guidance for our registrants; and
  • implementing a new Indicative sanctions policy to ensure our decision-making process is more consistent.

Last week (2 December) Social Work England took over the regulation of social workers from the HCPC.

Stephen McCaffrey

I am a HCPC Defence Barrister who has represented a large number of health and care professionals before the HCPC and other regulatory bodies in either first instance proceedings or appeals. 

I can help with all matters relating to HCPC Fitness to Practise referrals issues including:

  • Applications for Registration
  • Registration Appeals
  • International Registration
  • Temporary Registration
  • Internal Disciplinary and Grievance
  • HCPC Referrals
  • Fitness to Practice Hearings
  • Conduct and Competence Hearings
  • Health Committee Hearings
  • Interim Orders Hearings
  • Preparation for hearings
  • Representation at hearings
  • Preparation of witness statements

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