This is a transcript of the minutes provided by the GMC provided via FOI
Minutes and actions from the last meeting
- Minutes from the October Programme Board meeting were agreed as accurate. The action to notify DHSC of budget pressures relating to communications and the external environment has been completed. Actions for Education colleagues in relation to curricula standards and communication of the process for approving courses are both in hand.
The external environment remains challenging. The recent meeting with the Academy on 21 November was productive and the challenges faced by the GMC were recognised. There is ongoing debate over issues including scope of practice and the format of the GMC reference number, however all recognised the need to welcome the two new professions into regulation and for the GMC and external stakeholders to work together in a productive space.
A short-term cross organisational group is being established to support the work of the MAPs team and those colleagues currently under significant work pressures.
AAPA Order update
The updated draft of the AAPA Order was received from DHSC on 17 November 2023 and is the same version that has gone to the JCSI (Parliament’s Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments). This draft is unlikely to change significantly before being laid in Parliament.
The draft is currently being reviewed by the Policy team. Any concerns we have regarding outstanding items will be put in writing to the DHSC, however it is not expected any changes will be implemented at this late stage.
CM and UL recently met with senior officials at DHSC who confirmed the recent change of Secretary of State for Health and Social Care is not expected to impact the Order being laid in December.
GMC reference number update
- Following discussion at SMT, we continue to explore the potential for different approaches to the format of the reference number for PAs and AAs. IS colleagues have begun considering this and will be consulting external users of our published registrant information, including NHS Digital.
Online register format
A recommended approach to online register format will be presented to the Executive Board on 27 November 2023.
Programme Board discussed the key priorities for online information and noted:
a. The designs produced thus far have been based on views and advice from a range of users.
b. It is crucial that users are able to clearly distinguish between doctors, PA and AAs. There is potential to strengthen this in the current draft designs.
c. Presentation of online register information needs to be user-friendly.
d. The search function as currently designed appears flexible and easy to use.
e. We need to consider further the language used to describe the information we present online. The use of ‘register’ can be misleading as the List of Registered Medical Practitioners is not “the register” in legal terms but, rather, a selection of the information we hold.
It was agreed IS have already put in place a simple and succinct search functionality which is user-friendly to both the public and to organisational users. Moving forward the language used needs to be considered and more testing undertaken.
Outreach strategy for AAs and PAs
Programme Board supported the proposals in the paper and noted:
a. The work of Outreach is an opportunity to establish good relations when regulation begins.
b. There may be challenges with employer engagement if we don’t have existing contacts in relation to PAs and AAs.
c. Outreach will further consider how to encourage engagement with AAs and PAs and explore opportunities to align activities supporting professionalism across our registrant groups and students.
d. In the first year of regulation, Outreach will explore avenues of engagement and how to capture feedback.
Programme finance update
Programme Board noted the pressures on our 2023/24 budget caused by new areas of spending, including those related to a more challenging external environment, and the likely need to increase our bid to DHSC.
In discussion, the Board agreed:
a. DHSC have met all our previous funding requests and there is no reason to think the necessary funding will not be provided.
b. We should maintain our commitment to a low initial ARF for PAs and AAs and keep this under review after regulation starts.
c. We may need to consider extending the period over which we expect PA/AA regulation to pay for itself. It is difficult to be definite about this until we see how registrant numbers grow.
- The next meeting will be a Joint MAPs and Regulatory Reform Board on Tuesday 16 January 2024. [unavailable / out of scope for this FOI]