HWSC R&S slides, 14.12.22 (Louise Wallace and Mari Greenfield): What do health and social care employers do to support their patients/service users and colleagues as witnesses in Fitness to Practise proceedings?
This talk was delivered as part of the School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care's Research and Scholarship series, on 14th December 2022.
The presentation covers one part of a large qualitative study of the experience of the public in professional regulatory proceedings known as Fitness to Practise (FtP) investigations and hearings. The study is funded by NIHR and involves the OU and 4 other Universities.
There are 13 UK statutory health and care regulators. There are nearly 2 million registrants in the UK. There are many thousands of concerns raised about registrants’ conduct, although under 3,000 go to a public tribunal/hearing each year. Some of these involve people who have been harmed by the care provided and/or the conduct of the registrant. We know from studies in the criminal justice system that retelling a story many times can be distressing, or even traumatising. We do not know what the effect is in regulatory proceedings, although we do know registrants typically find the process protracted, and extremely distressing and some become suicidal.
Our study is the first globally to look at this topic from the ‘harmed persons” point of view. The data in the main study from the public is currently being collected, and here I give a brief overview of the methods. I present a study within the study (WP1.4) which looks at what employers do to support their organisations’ patients/families/service users, or employees who themselves have been harmed by a registered employee, when they are called to give evidence to an investigation and tribunal hearing against the colleague registrant.