Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association

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This statement has been issued by the Dept. of Health in an attempt to clarify the present position of Health Visiting as contained within the draft legislation. This will be of interest to all Health Visitors.
Jackie Carnell, Director, CPHVA, 29 June 2001
Health Visitors and The New Nursing and Midwifery Council
Government Commitments
1. The Government has made its commitment to the profession clear from the outset. When it first published, on 9 February 1999, the review which resulted in the current legislative proposals, it said:
We have not accepted the report's recommendations on health visitors. We have recently emphasized the important role and contribution of health visitors to a number of Government policies, including the Public Health Strategy, and we intend to maintain their independent representation ".
2. Subsequently, in Modernising Regulation - the New NMC (August, 2000), the Government said:
" Health visitors will continue to have separate registration and representation within the new Council ".
3. On the register, it said:
" The Government intends that there should be a third part, for health visitors "
4. The powers and safeguards in the draft Order are designed to enable the Government to deliver that commitment
Powers and Safeguards
5. The Order requires the new Council to make proposals on the structure of the register, and gives power to the Privy Council to designate separate parts and titles for each. It is the Government's declared intention to use that power so as to protect the registration and title of health visitors.
6. There is to be separate and equal representation of professions from each part of the register and each UK country. This is reflected in the appointments the Government has already made to the Shadow Council.
7. In doing its work, including setting standards for education and conduct, the new Council will have a duty:
  • to have regard to the interests of each profession and of groups within them
  • to consult the representatives of each profession on proposals likely to affect them
  • to ensure adequate professional input in dealing with allegations of unfitness to practise.
8. The new Council will have the power to set up whatever advisory committees it sees fit, with a majority drawn from the field concerned.
9. Where any item of Council business solely affects one profession, it cannot be decided against the wishes of the majority of members from that profession.
CPHVA Recommendation
10. The CPHVA has recommended that the register should allow for the registration of all specialist community practitioners and their qualifications should also be mandatory for practice.
11. This recommendation goes beyond what the Government has proposed. The current proposals allow for the additional marks indicating competence in a particular field or at particular level of practice to be recorded in the register. This would facilitate the continuation or development of existing arrangements under which, for example, specialist practitioner qualifications which have been approved for that purpose can be shown in the register in addition to those required for entry to the profession.