When ‘fitness to practise’ is adjudicated in the healthcare professional sector, all participants want to see is a fair, transparent, timely and efficient process. OHPA was established to deliver adjudication to meet these needs independently, for the General Medical Council, and other regulatory councils.
As a new (and ultimately ‘short lived’) body, OHPA had to quickly assemble best practices in independent adjudication and all the necessary channels of communication to interested parties. Quadrant was commissioned to provide insight and benchmarks, working with our partner in Buying Solutions, ICM Research.
What did we do?
The main forms of support were:
- Among frontline healthcare practitioners (nurses, GPs, dentists, opticians and overall), we conducted a large scale quantitative survey of current perceptions of adjudication
- We also recruited frontline staff for focus groups to probe the findings in greater detail
- Among the Chief Officers at the ten regulators (GMC and similar), we conducted face- to-face indepth interviews on the benefits and risks of moving to independent adjudication.
The findings and the insights were presented to OHPA senior management and CEO. Initially, this was to inform a pan-regulator engagement strategy, although ultimately it became part of the transition package on how best to retain ‘OHPA’ insight within the wider regulatory population.
What was the breakthrough for OHPA?
Given two audiences (frontline staff and their respective regulatory councils), the Quadrant:ICM work was notable for confirming the degree to which independent adjudication would be a valued improvement. It also stimulated the debate on whether some Councils might prefer to continue with inhouse options but wanted to learn from any new beacon example (like OHPA for GMC) on how it might produce greater fairness, transparency, speed and efficiency. These attributes are part of the OHPA legacy.