UK registration framework for offshore medics
Thursday, May 24, 2012
The Institute of Remote Healthcare (IRHC), a professional body based in Aberdeen, is setting up a registration scheme for medics working offshore.
Currently medics working in the North Sea must complete an initial training course accredited by the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE), but there are no systems to monitor capabilities on an ongoing basis.
IRHC has set up an advisory group for discussion between providers of medical services, industry bodies and company representatives from key areas of the oil and gas sector.
'The main issues to have stemmed from the group discussions to date have centred upon the standards of criteria for acceptance onto the HSE training courses for potential offshore medics and the absence of a subsequent career structure and regulation for these remote practitioners,' says IRHC Chief Executive Alan Kennedy-Bolam.
'There have in the past been issues related to the qualifications and competence of individual medics, and to the risks companies are potentially exposed to because of the lack of a registration body to regulate and mitigate such issues.
'To date the offshore medic has been the only clinical role in the UK not governed by a regulatory organisation and there is an opportunity now to introduce a system that takes account of the changing dynamics of our industry.
"We need a sustainable solution that provides assurance for all parties, not least offshore companies, in the quality of offshore healthcare support.
'The HSE is in agreement with IRHC in the value of this new approach, which we will now pursue.'