The UK and Devolved Governments have announced changes to healthcare regulation in the UK, with aims to make it faster, simpler and more responsive to the needs of staff, patients and employers.

The new release outlines how the regulation of healthcare workers such as doctors, nurses and pharmacists will better support professionals and modern fitness to practise processes.

Regulators to be given greater autonomy and time to focus on supporting their registrants, and proposed changes will deliver a modern system to support staff in delivering the NHS Long Term Plan.

The UK and Devolved Governments have now made plans to develop legislation that will provide all regulatory bodies with a broadly consistent set of powers to manage fitness to practise cases effectively and efficiently, as well as e nable regulators to make simple operational changes without the lengthy process of seeking the agreement of Parliament.

The plans will also remove the General Medical Council’s right to appeal decisions of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service to the High Court, in line with the recommendations in the Williams Review.

Andrea Sutcliffe, chief executive and registrar at the Nursing and Midwifery Council, commented that people using health and care services have “Every right to experience the best and safest care possible. It’s therefore vital that procedures affecting how we support and regulate nurses, midwives and nursing associates – the largest group of health and care professionals across the UK – don’t get in the way of that.

She also explained how she’s “Really glad the response set out today recognises that and will enable us to operate with greater flexibility and autonomy – shaping our regulatory requirements more easily through guidance and policy, rather than detailed rules – which will be so much better for everyone involved.”

The consultation received over 900 responses from individuals, organisations, healthcare professionals and members of the public. The UK and Devolved Governments will now work together to develop and then consult on draft legislation.