We have chosen to work with the Health Practice Associates Council (HPAC) to influence & shape the future provision of industry-related services.
HPAC improves accountability for non-statutory regulated clinicians. Displaying qualifications & professional development, as well as highlight those who fail to meet acceptable standards preserving role autonomy for safe practising clinicians. The HPAC program is intended to improve clinician accountability, which, in turn, helps avoid unsafe individuals gaining access to service users; consequently standards of practice should be improved.
As a registered organisation member who provides medical services, we agree to phase all non-paramedic clinical staff (not registered with a statutory regulator) onto the HPAC register, to provide assurance to the public, service users and other stakeholders that our staff meet the HPAC standards.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC), Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS), National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) & NHS Safeguarding all recognise the Health Practice Associates Council (HPAC) register in supporting the safe recruitment of non-paramedic ambulance clinicians.
We are immediately alerted when a new safeguarding concern is raised about a staff member by a third party whom they are associated to. This includes NHS Trusts, independent, voluntary and law enforcement organisations. Being on the platform means that we form part of the national safeguarding hub thereby strengthening public safety.
The HPAC portal provides us with the ability to record detailed incident, action & activity history, including compliments, per registrant on a confidential record. Our team leaders benefit from an integrated action plan tool, which prompts them & registrants when due dates pass and tracks completion of action plans for our compliance records. The HPAC portal is where we cascade our policies & procedures to staff and track their read rate by individual declarations of having read each document allowing us to track the level of compliance.
It’s no secret that many staff working in the private healthcare industry work for multiple providers. It’s also widely known that many organisations in the sector support each other with staffing needs on larger contracts or short-notice work.
At ProMed, we want to be able to have confidence that whoever we deploy in a patient-facing role, on any shift, is suitable for that role, and are committed professionals. Therefore, when we provide staff to assist our service partners with their requirements, we will share the HPAC PINs for our staff; furthermore, if our service partner is also an HPAC organisation member, we will ask those staff to request to associate with the service partner.
From 01 January 2023, it is our intention that where we request support from our network of quality-assured service partners, that any staff supplied to work on a ProMed contract are HPAC registrants. We will ask for their HPAC PIN, and will request to associate with them; this is for two reasons, firstly it allows us to see the staff member’s qualifications, driving license & DBS update status; secondly it provides us with the ability to share the shift-related documents to them within the HPAC portal, and we will be notified when they have read those documents.
But, that’s not enough for us. From 01 January 2024, it is our intention that we will only send requests for support to service partners who themselves are HPAC organisation members. We want to continue partnerships & continue working with organisations who share our values – to improve the standards of the private healthcare industry. The more organisations that join HPAC, the more staff that will be required to be phased onto the register. The more organisations who are HPAC members, the less places unregistered staff will be able to find work.
It is unfortunate that some people choose to act with malintent; this isn’t exclusive to the private healthcare sector – a quick online search will show that people have worked directly in the NHS, or as Constables in the Police, but have acted in ways which are harmful to individuals and to society. It is therefore important that organisations in the private healthcare sector take steps to minimise this risk; by only selecting staff who are on a publicly-owned register, or by requiring new staff to join that register & having checks carried out on them, we are making it difficult for those seeking to harm to have access to the vulnerable people in our care.
For larger events, ProMed’s clients will receive a Medical, Ambulance & First Aid Operational Plan which details how we provide our services. Appendix 1 of that document lists all staff members allocated to work on the event, and includes details of any registers they are registered with (including the GMC, NMC, HCPC & GPhC, as well as HPAC). This allows clients, and other stakeholders included in the document circulation (NHS Ambulance Service Trusts, Police Forces, local authority Safety Advisory Groups – SAGs, etc) the opportunity to confirm the HPAC clinical grades & blue light driving status of the staff before anybody even steps foot on the event site. This gives the event safety team independent assurance that they have the appropriate numbers of each grade of staff required, and that they have an enhanced DBS certificate with adult & child barred list checks which shows no new information since it was printed.
All ProMed staff are expected to visibly display their ProMed identification card when on shift; they are also required to carry their Health Practice Associates Council ID card, and produce it on demand to anybody who requests it. We welcome clients & stakeholders to check that our staff are registered when on site.
At ProMed, we believe that those in our care have a right to know who is caring for them. In addition to introducing themselves by name, and stating their role, our staff are willing to provide their HPAC ID card for inspection to any patient or friend/relative (as long as it doesn’t interfere with necessary clinical care). You can scan the QR code on that card to confirm they are still active on the Health Practice Associates Council register.
Anybody – whether a patient, a colleague, a statutory authority, or a member of the public – can raise a concern directly to the Health Practice Associates Council (HPAC) via their online form. They operate a fair & transparent process, so cannot take forward concerns made anonymously.
We will soon be printing the HPAC referral pathway signs which will be kept with all our kits, and displayed wherever our staff are planning to deliver patient care, such as first aid posts, treatment centres & in our vehicles.