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Posted By: WOM Davis Regulation of Health Care Staff - 10/03/04 2:10 PM
Regulation of Health Care Staff in England and Wales

Regulation of health Care Staff is on the march and will affect or restrict many MTOs much more than many currently realise. confused

“This consultation document sets out proposals for extending regulation to those staff who have a direct impact on patients and have the potential to compromise public safety if their work or behaviour falls short of acceptable standards.”

That's many of US eek Under 58? smilewink Time to get registered!! It will get harder mad



“Aspirant healthcare professions
24. Significant progress has been made towards extending statutory regulation to more professions who
aspire to regulation. The current position is set out below.
• Operating Department Practitioners and Applied Psychologists. Both professions applied
for regulation by the Health Professions Council in 2003;
• Healthcare Scientists who have professional qualifications including Clinical Perfusionists
and Clinical Physiologists. These groups may begin to be ready for regulation by 2005 – if standards of training and practice have been sufficiently well developed by then;
• Psychotherapists and other practitioners of “Talking Therapies”. The Department of Health is continuing talks with the organisations concerned to try to agree a way forward for regulating these groups, but has accepted the need for regulation.
25. Subject to final decisions to be taken in the light of this consultation, statutory regulation could be put in place for assistants and support staff by 2007 though it would take some time after that for all those staff groups agreed to achieve registration. A provisional timetable is: • Consultation on proposals March to July 2004;
• Analysis and final decisions August 2004;
• Develop preparatory infrastructure necessary for statutory regulation:
• standardised training or induction requirements as basis for registration, based on national occupational standards projects due to complete in 2004/5
• accreditation and roll out of training if needed
• identification and initial voluntary registration
• code of conduct, performance and ethics – all complete by end 2005;
• Draft legislation, publish and consult from early 2006;
• Pass legislation by late 2006;
• Register and full regulatory system open by early 2007 (for a specified period until proposed
staff groups achieve registration).
26. The Government is committed to increasing public protection and improving quality in health care
settings. This document seeks views on the way in which regulation should apply to health care support
staff. In particular your views on these proposals and the specific questions raised in the text, and
summarised at Annex A, are sought by 2nd July 2004.”
Posted By: John Sandham Re: Regulation of Health Care Staff - 26/03/04 4:09 PM
I was surprised this week to find a technician working for 4 years in a medical electronics dept who had no idea about the voluntary register / professional registration. confused

I do not blame him for not knowing, it is the responsibility of managers to get the message across. There are still departments out there who appear to be 'out in the cold'.

We need to find ways to get through to these people.
Exactly what benefits do you get from the voluntary register. It just seems to be taking money from you without helping in any way (I thought that was the union's job laugh )
What will be the criteria for registration when it becomes mandatory e.g. qualifications, training, experience?
Posted By: Ken Re: Regulation of Health Care Staff - 29/03/04 6:56 AM
The main point of the voluntary register is to prove to the relevant bodies that there is a demand and that technicians are interested in state registration. If no one joins the voluntary register then the case for registration would not be considered due to lack of interest.
The principal of registration is fine but there are still too many unanswerd questions as to how this would work in practice. Especially how this would affect recruitment is smaller EMBE departments which are not part of a larger Medical Physice establishment. Even voluntary registration is not that easy. One of my tchnicians tried to register but did not have an IPEM/Physicist sponsor ( There is no Medical Physics Departhemt here in York.) His application was refused. Since then none of us have bothered. Two of us are already registered with the Engineering Council through our IEE / Chartered Engineer status (£100+ per year). Several others are IEIE or Incorporated. We see ourselves primarily as engineers who work on medical devices with skills which are transferable to other (non medical) potential employers. If all the emphasis for qualifications and registration is focused on the medical part of our work we may be limiting carrer options rather than enhancing them. As for the voluntary register - I can understand a one-off fee but what do registrants get for an anual fee other than their name on a list?
Posted By: Marcel Eve Re: Regulation of Health Care Staff - 29/03/04 6:05 PM

I think the answer to your question "what do we get for registration ?" is in the long term, permission from the employer to open up medical devices & work inside them.

For far too many years the qualification for rummaging around inside medical equipment was a set of screwdrivers and the ability to deny everything convincingly if something went horribly wrong.

Groups of staff would fiddle with equipment and keep no records whatever. If asked where their records were they would simply ask "Why keep records?"

Over the years I have met some seriously frightening individuals who have opened up equipment and done the most stupid things simply because (a) they had the tools and (b) nobody in the hospital had the power to prevent them.

Many years back I had an attempt at stopping a group of unqualified staff from doing what they flatteringly referred to as "maintenance", only to have a senior clinician come down on me very hard. My line manager got scared and asked me to knock it off.

Some trusts have good equipment management and have had it for several years, some still don't. The essential thing will hopefully be that if you aren't registered you aren't allowed. In other words you will need to have evidence of competency (on paper)in the relevant area of medical technology to practice.

Go onto any ward and ask a senior nurse if you can borrow a screwdriver for a few minutes. You may be surprised at the number of tools that appear. Then go back and ask for a syringe and some drugs and watch their response. See what I mean?

For a middle aged tech like me registration is of course a bit worrying. My ancient City & Guilds certificates and a lack of any Physicist to support me may end up ruining my career, but I really do think the poor old NHS needs to get proper controls on who's allowed to do what.

Posted By: John Sandham Re: Regulation of Health Care Staff - 29/03/04 8:00 PM
All of our techs got onto the register and we are not part of a large med phys dept. Not sure why that is an issue. We registered early on in the process. confused
Posted By: techman Re: Regulation of Health Care Staff - 30/03/04 11:03 AM
As I understand it, one of the main benefits of joining the VRCT is that it is thought that it will make it easier to transfer to the register when it comes in. It is a 'when' rather than an 'if'.

If the VRCT is large enough, it is more likely to have some input into the registration process, as opposed to regulations being purely imposed.

As for signing up, I had no problem. I also view the annual fee in the same way as other membership fees - a necessary evil to ensure that details etc are correct.
Posted By: Huw Re: Regulation of Health Care Staff - 30/03/04 11:07 AM
Aren't they 'upping' the fee from £10 to £60?
Once again the little bit of paper wins. Registration does not mean you are any better at your job,only that some physicist has deemed you suitable. We used to have a good training scheme here where we took people from school and trained them to do the job with day release thrown in to get an HNC. Management in there infinite wisdom scrapped this and replaced it with a university degree course. Now we have 'technicians' with the correct piece of paper but absolutely no practical experience and therefore no idea how to do the job. The way forward is not registration for registrations sake.
Posted By: techman Re: Regulation of Health Care Staff - 30/03/04 3:50 PM
I tend to agree with the sentiments. One comment recently made was - given the difficulties recruiting to some posts and the reducing workforce available, it is a bit odd to have the response of raising the level of entry requirements, as seems to be the case.

That aside, if being in the VRCT makes it easier when the change comes, this must be a benefit.
Posted By: Ken Re: Regulation of Health Care Staff - 31/03/04 6:56 AM
Surely the point of registration is a recognition of the fact that we are a professional body involved in health care. Does the same negative arguments apply to nurses and other medical staff who must have state registration before they are allowed to work in a health care role.
I for one think it is better for us that the role we carry out is considered important enough to need state registration.
Is it not time we promoted our profession rather than holding it back by negative arguments.
Posted By: Eagle Re: Regulation of Health Care Staff - 31/03/04 8:01 AM
I feel that when registration becomes the requirement for all,the unions should take the lead from the teachers who campaigned, and won, for their annual pay award to ALSO include a one-off payment equal to that of their annual registration fee.
Posted By: bobbyp Re: Regulation of Health Care Staff - 31/03/04 10:52 AM
AGAT,what are you on about?
Posted By: Eagle Re: Regulation of Health Care Staff - 31/03/04 11:26 AM

If the employer wants the employee registered, the employer picks up the tab!
Agree with you Eagle. Just seems to be another stealth tax.
Posted By: JIM GAVIN Re: Regulation of Health Care Staff - 05/04/04 10:29 PM
Some of you have lost the plot.

It is not about today, tomorrow, next year, but onwards for a profession.

Some of you talk of others. What has Medical Physics got to do with it? Indivdual people take on a role, are perfect at what they do.

I am not a Physicist, stop slating them, they are good at what they do.

Are you not the same?

Give a pat on the back to yourself and be proud of who and what you are, not others.
Posted By: John Sandham Re: Regulation of Health Care Staff - 06/04/04 7:39 AM
I agree that we should promote our profession as equal to any other, including Physics professions.
I have made very good friends in Physics professions - But there are not many physicists who understand the complexities of device management - and there is nothing worse than working for a manager who thinks we are 'lamp and fuse changers'. I digress - Registration will happen, we should take it on board and get involved. Although IPEM hold the register, you do not have to join IPEM. IPEM 'hold' the register in a secretariat role. The IIE and other institutes have also been closely involved.
Jim, What do Physicists actually do? I can understand nuclear medicine ones reporting scans but bio-engineering physicists?????
Posted By: KM Re: Regulation of Health Care Staff - 06/04/04 11:57 AM
Registration can only be a good thing. It will not only give recognition for the facts that we do make decisions and carry out actions that do effect the levels of care actual patients do recieve and the rate that they recover.
Maybe the tasks that we carry out arent as obvious as a surgeon carrying out an operation,
or a nurse taking blood pressure but how would they achieve their roles without the equipment to do it.
Also the registration will hopefully apply to suppliers and third party service engineers, so ensuring that these bods that actually fix equipment are fully experienced in what they are doing.
Of cause the only real way forward with this registration once implemented will be for the EBME managers out there to make sure that only registerd bods are allowed to work on equipment that is deemed to warrant it. Otherwise its going to be pointless.
Hopefully the registration will encompass some sort of structure to ensure that only recognised bods are allowed to carry out certain levels of work.
Also I thought that was where physisists came into the big schemme of things. They are the people responsible for research and the likes whilst we maintain and repair things. And there are some very good ones and some bad, just like Med Eng Techs or what ever they call us.
As a member of IPEM Ive read the info thats been flying around for a while and I can only say that if the bods that have got involved at IPEM had been as negative as some of us then we,d still be people with no future and the suppliers would be rubbing their pockets at the thought of all the service contracts they where going to get as the NHS dumps a load of handy lads (and lasses) because nobody will take quite nows what they do.

Anyway thats that off me chest. rolleyes
Ostentatious KM top of the morning ostentation indeed. By Registration "Does we get some extra insurance/Assurance in our daily duties ?". Is one allowed to practice ones profession in peace and harmony without paranoia...following manufacture’s recommendations and current official guidelines of course. eek

Louis, Forget the "extra insurance/Assurance in our daily duties" What about the extra money,holidays etc laugh laugh laugh
Ah don't the Anemone japonica’s redolence delightfully this fine morn? rolleyes
Posted By: Ken Re: Regulation of Health Care Staff - 07/04/04 11:35 AM
I agree with your comments on registration, it can only be a benefit to us all.
The way I understand it is that anyone employed at MTO3 or higher will have to have state registration. It will not be down to EBME managers to decide if they want to employ registered or non-registered staff, it will be a legal requirement for all MT03's and higher to be registered.
The same rules regarding registration will apply to us that apply to nursing and clinical posts, ie if you are not registered you will not be allowd to work at that level.
`Louis agrees as well, Louis has always chirped his beak for unification. However, Suppose Louis had a trainee subordinate type henchman with potential and an ONC in electronics. We hire him i.e. because for one reason or another Louis could not dangle the golden carrot to catch the all knowledgeable graduate. Louis and his boys trained the subordinate, sent him on every available manufacturers course that ever existed. This subordinate has now flowered into the mighty “SuperTech”. He works hard and climbs to MTO3 3*. However, in the eyes of the Register Gods, he still only holds an ONC. Will he be “Black Balled”? What say ye?

Posted By: techman Re: Regulation of Health Care Staff - 07/04/04 2:47 PM
At the moment there is no clear indication as to the level of qualification required. However, in theory if the qualification threshhold has not been reached, then it would not be possible to register. this would mean that limits would be placed upon what work could be undertaken.

I would assume that it will be possible to take the necessary courses etc to achieve the level required. This will, no doubt, also be the case for higher grades if they bring in a system of 'gateways'.
Posted By: Bioman Re: Regulation of Health Care Staff - 08/04/04 7:37 AM
If the regulation of technologists is the safe as with Clinical Scientist then education is not an issue.

When the HPC opened the register to Clin Sci in June last year it also opened a two year window where people could register under the grandparenting system.

In short it meant that people working on the Clinical Scientists B or C grade could apply for registration without having the necessary qualification or formal training. They only need to prove that they are currently working to the required standard and competency.

I assume if registration for technologists is made mandatory then these transitional arrangements will also be made available.
Techman/Bioman Louis welcomes your valued comments but you both use the word "Assume".
Yet again on this forum Louis feels the "Steering Committee Members"/Register Gods, whatever, yet again fail to provide the "Factual" answer Louis and others seeks. confused
We are a profession and Louis does not "ASSUME" otherwise. Come on "Clique" fill us in on the academic reqirements, please? frown

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