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Professional Issues Group

Please remember that Health Professionals Council (HPC) registration is due this September and that by now you should have received notification. You can either renew online or by post, if you have not received your forms yet please contact the HPC especially if you have moved address and not notified the HPC.
Failure to re-register will put your employment with the Trust at risk and you will not be able to practice your skills.

The HPC process for Referrals
When a case is referred to the HPC, they follow 3 stages:
1. Find out the facts by referring to material sent by the employer and the registrant
2. Decide if the facts amount to misconduct/incompetence
3. If so, is the registrant currently impaired

With regards to stage 3, the HPC will look at the competence of the registrant at the time of the hearing so any evidence of ongoing remedial training since the incident and reflective practice, which needs to be evidenced, will be taken into account. It is essential to acknowledge any mistakes or faults and acceptance of any short failings.
The HPC will not have all the key evidence and it will be balanced against the registrant as they will be going on the evidence supplied by the employer. Therefore it is essential to provide any supporting evidence, and seek out extra supportive measures from the Trust as you can then evidence that you have actively sought to improve your clinical skills and accepted any faults.
If you are unfortunate to be subject of a disciplinary procedure, please self refer to the HPC as it will be seen as a positive move that you are taking ownership of your registration and following the HPC's own policy.
Unison has a special Professional Services team based in London who takes on cases for registrants if they have to attend a hearing. They will provide support, advice and representation before and at the hearing. Members must have been a Unison member for a minimum of 4 weeks prior to the date of the original incident and maintain their registration throughout the process in order to have accesses to this benefit.
Your local branch will be able to help with travel and accommodation expenses for the member if required to attend a hearing.

It could be you! How to write a witness statement


A UNISON member can be asked to write a witness statement for any number of reasons. Therefore, with the number of requests for assistance in writing statements on the increase, UNISON has produced guidance that provides an invaluable tool in helping someone through the statement process

In full:

Branches are receiving increasing requests from members for help in writing a witness statement. When cuts are made to services, the knock-on effect can be greater workload pressures, the scope for errors increasing and so inevitably more health workers may be required to write witness statements giving accounts of past events.

Writing a statement can be a daunting experience, so UNISON has produced guidance on how to write a witness statement. The guidance outlines the procedures that should be followed, which are common to most NHS employers, as well as providing a list of golden rules and scenarios. It also goes on to emphasise that members need not be alone in carrying the burden of writing a statement but should seek advice from their union representatives.

Branches are asked to circulate this guidance to all UNISON members, in particular those approaching them for assistance when writing a statement. This guidance can be used in all circumstances.

Guidance on how to write a witness statement


For urgent help and advice at work contact your local UNISON steward or Health and Safety rep as soon as possible. If you don't know who your local UNISON rep is, get in touch with UNISONdirect on 0845 355 0845.

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