The law which sets out how our complaint and inquiry process works has changed. This law is the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005, as amended. It has very recently been amended by the Regulated Professions (Health and Social Care) (Amendment) Act 2020. The changes made have all now commenced.
Key changes include:
- A new ground of complaint has been introduced. A complaint can be made where a health and social care professional registered with CORU has been prohibited or restricted from providing health and social care in the Republic of Ireland or elsewhere. This could arise, for example, where a CORU registered health and social care professional who is working in another country is the subject of a complaint to the regulator there (the equivalent of CORU in that country), and where the person's ability to practice is then restricted or prohibited.
- The sanction process has been streamlined. Previously, the Registration Board of the relevant profession (i.e. the profession of the person the subject of the inquiry) had to recommend a sanction to the Council. This step in the process has been removed. The Council now decides on the appropriate sanction without receiving a recommendation from the Registration Board. This change takes effect immediately, and applies to all complaints and inquiries, whether live or pending.
- There is now a right of appeal to the High Court if any sanction is imposed following an inquiry. Previously, there was only a right of appeal to more serious sanctions. This change takes effect immediately, and applies to all complaints and inquiries, whether live or pending.