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Australia and UK collaborate on improving regulations

Health professionals from Australia and the UK met to address the issue of patient safety and practitioner regulations at a seminar last week.

Held in Melbourne, the event saw members of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) in the UK combine their efforts to protect the public.

AHPRA chief executive Martin Fletcher said the research collaboration between the duo was the largest of its kind, combining data for over one million registered health practitioners across both countries to help the organisations “improve regulatory effectiveness, patient safety and professional standards internationally”.

"We want to translate the research we do into real action that puts patient safety first,” he said.

"AHPRA and the HCPC are making a shared investment in innovative research on important issues such as the effectiveness of our regulatory actions, complaint hotspots across health professions, preventing harm and using behavioural insights in the work that we do to protect the public.”

HPC chief executive and registrar Marc Seale said the joint research seminar aimed to set a high standard in the health profession.

“Our focus this week is to engage, collaborate, learn and most of all get inspired,” he said.

“The issue of patient safety is not confined within national borders and there are many common challenges across countries.

“We are very lucky – we already have access to many of the best experts in health practitioner regulation at home, and our work with AHPRA extends our knowledge to what is happening overseas.”

In attendance at the event were international researchers, regulators, accreditation authorities and practitioners, all looking at ways in which research could help shape AHPRA and HCPC’s regulatory policies, decision-making and compliance activities.

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