Are you sure you know who's treating you?
You don’t usually need to worry about whether the people helping you with your health and wellbeing are qualified to do so. Some professions, including doctors, nurses, dentists and many others, will be registered with one of nine statutory regulators who ensure they’re meeting the required standards.
But not all health professionals are regulated in the same way. Many, including counsellors, psychotherapists, play therapists, complementary/alternative therapists, foot health practitioners and healthcare scientists, are not legally required to be registered or regulated. As a result, a number of these groups have set up their own voluntary registers, to make sure they’re delivering the best quality of care. So to make sure that you’re seeing somebody registered, you need to know where to look.
To help people make the right choice about the health and care professionals treating them – and to enable those professionals to be recognised for their skills and performance - the Professional Standards Authority launched the Accredited Registers programme. This is a form of voluntary regulation which allows health and care professionals to apply for accreditation which demonstrates that they meet certain standards.
What does this mean for you?
If you’re looking into treatment with somebody who isn’t registered with one of the nine statutory regulators, check the Accredited Registers to make sure they’re listed. If they are, this means they’re appropriately trained and have been vetted. In the event that you’re not happy with any aspect of your treatment, there is a complaints procedure in place that you can turn to.
What is your experience of health professionals?
If you've got an experience to share, get in touch with your local Healthwatch.