The Health Professions Council has made clear to registrants that they risk being struck off for poor conduct in their personal as well as professional lives.
The message comes in a new HPC consultation on revised standards of conduct, performance and ethics for registrants. The consultation follows a review carried out last year to update the standards so that they stay relevant and 'conform to public expectations'. Registrants are already expected to keep high standards of personal conduct. They can be struck off for criminal convictions or police cautions involving, for example, dishonesty, violence, abuse, sexual misconduct or supplying drugs. Under revised standards, the HPC has added child pornography offences to this list following a number of recent cases coming before the council. The HPC said: 'Adding this is consistent with our indicative sanctions guidance which explains that such offences are normally incompatible with remaining registered.' Standard 14 has been rewritten to recognise that health professionals 'need to act with integrity and honesty both inside and outside of their professional lives in order to justify the trust placed in them by service users and wider society.' The HPC said cases were considered individually to see if steps were needed to protect the public and uphold public confidence in their profession. The consultation document says: 'We will always look at any convictions or cautions we learn of and we have arrangements in place to be told about convictions and cautions involving registrants.' CSP professional regulation officer Seye Aina said the Society would be examining the consultation document in detail before submitting a formal written response to the HPC. The HPC has also proposed new guidance on how to respect service users' confidentiality. FURTHER INFORMATION For more on both consultations, which run until 7 September, go to www.hpc-uk.org
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