Same old, same old at the HPC: HPC council meeting Thursday 31st March 2011

by Bruce Scott on March 31, 2011

Here are some themes that came up in discussion during the meeting.

The Health Professions Council (HPC) are still keeping in mind ‘protection of public’ -or still repeating this mantra that has no substance or proof. Please see this report for details:  ‘The UKCP meet the HPC day on September 24th 2010, or An education in misconduct.’

They are not happy with the recent ‘Health and Social Care Bill 2011’ and Command paper: ‘Enabling Excellence: Autonomy and Accountability for Health and Social Care Staff,  February 16th, 2011’ and not happy with relinquishing the statutory regulation of psychotherapists and counsellors.

They discussed the nature of THEIR voluntary regulation for therapists, “how to market it” for public; they clearly would see their register more superior than the to be reformed CHRE voluntary register because they are for “protection of public”. They mentioned how they have got to consider and look into the standards they will have to set for their (the HPC’s) voluntary register .

There was much voicing that the door of statutory regulation of psychotherapists and counsellors should not be closed because “we have done so much good work” and “we have a duty to protect the public”.

They discussed recent correspondence from the Department of Health. The HPC wrote to them regarding the situation of statutory regulation. They have been informed by the Department of Health that statutory regulation of psychotherapists and counsellors is off the cards (unless we become a risk). The advice from the Department of Health does not seem to be have been digested too well or listened to.

One HPC council member said, “Just because a Government minister tells us we have to do something does not mean we have to do it”. Amazing stuff!!!

 There was also some voicing along the lines of “we are independent; let’s do research into risk for Psychotherapists and Counsellors and we will capture them”. Yes, you have read that right, they used the word, capture.

The word on the street is that they (the HPC) may try to find/present research that psychotherapists and counsellors are a risk. Please read the report here: The Public Liaison Group (PLG) meeting on 12th May, 2010: The plg meeting for the proposed regulation of psychotherapists and counsellors on the 12th May 2010: An example of how not to dwell in un-knowing.  This report outlines the HPC hierarchy’s nonsensical and flimsy arguments for the statutory regulation of psychotherapy.

They see their voluntary register as a stepping stone to full statutory regulation of Psychotherapist and Counsellors and of course protected titles. They are playing a long-term game.

Scary stuff, depressing, mind-numbing. Keep vigilant. Do not become complacent.


Note: UKCP is the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy

Note 2:  The HPC’s minutes of the meeting are available here: Council – 31 March 2011 Action points arising from the Health and Social Care Bill 2011 and Command Paper

Note 3:  CHRE is the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence