Andy Lewis aka le canard noir tells us the Society of Homeopaths are applying to become accredited as a voluntary professional register with the Professional Standards Authority.
Professional how? Standards of what? Professional standards in what universe? What “professional standards” are even possible for homeopathy?
I wonder if homeopaths ever get charged with malpractice.
Back to our black duck friend.
Should the PSA approve their application, it will mean that the PSA, rather than ensuring standards in health care, has become a direct threat to public health.
The PSA are calling for feedback by the 17th of January on the Society of Homeopaths before they approve them. Perhaps you might want to let them know what you think about their fitness against the stated standards.
That sounds like a good project to me.
So I take a look at the professional standards [pdf] that Andy linked to. Right at the start I see a problem –
Standards for organisations holding a voluntary register for health and social care occupations
The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care¹ oversees statutory bodies that regulate health and social care professionals in the UK. We assess their performance, conduct audits, scrutinise their decisions and report to Parliament. We also set standards for organisations holding voluntary registers for health and social care occupations and accredit those that meet them.
¹ The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care was previously known as the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence.
Hoo-boy. I can see homeopathy making it in because of that “Social Care” addition. It could make it in as “Social Care” but then of course use the accreditation to make homeopathy seem valid as Health Care, which is to say, medical treatment. Andy gives ten compelling reasons why they shouldn’t, but concludes that they probably will anyway because
Recently, in the House of Lords, a quesiton was asked about “whether they intend to appoint a scientist to the Professional Standards Authority”. The response from Earl Howe was frightening,
My Lords, the Government have no plans to change the membership of the council of the Professional Standards Authority. The authority is required under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 to set standards for organisations holding voluntary registers for health and social care occupations, and accredits those which meet these standards. It is not required to make a judgment on the beliefs and practices of individuals registered with the organisations that it accredits.
Let that sink in. The regulator has no obligation to consider the beliefs and practices of those it wishes to regulate.
Even more shocking perhaps was the response of Baroness Pitkeathley, who just happens to be the Chair of the PSA.
Does the Minister agree that as by next March more than 75 occupations and 100,000 practitioners will be covered by the accredited voluntary register scheme, the public are much better informed and better protected than they have ever been?
It is not clear how Pitkeathley thinks that the public are going to be better informed and protected by her rubber stamping the most egregious form of quackery that we have to put up with.
What a mess.
To remind you, if you wish to make your views known about this issue, then you have until the 17th of January to send a submission to the PSA about the suitability of the Society for accreditation.