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Support Workers and the Health ProfessionsThe Invisible Providers of Health Care$
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Mike Saks

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781447352105

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447352105.001.0001

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Regulation, risk and health support work

Regulation, risk and health support work

(p.79) Five Regulation, risk and health support work
Support Workers and the Health Professions

Mike Saks

Judith Allsop

Policy Press

The limited regulation of support workers as compared to health professional workers and the ensuing risks are discussed in this chapter from a neo-Weberian standpoint. It is argued from the example of the United Kingdom, and especially England, that it may be in the public interest, in terms of protecting users of services and their carers from harm, to extend the existing regulatory framework in a number of modern societies. This is particularly so at a time when health professions themselves are coming under increasing challenge in the wake of adverse events and the subsequent publicity to which they have been exposed. The range of actions taken to mitigate risk include extending state regulatory controls, establishing registers for additional occupations, increasing employer and professional managerial controls in the public and private sector, and implementing additional requirements for continuing educational development. Health support workers, who are numerically the largest group of health personnel, remain under regulated and under researched. Regulatory confusion too often prevails in the complex division of labour in health care in relation to the risks of support workers to users – not to mention vulnerable support workers themselves in terms of their precarious work conditions, as discussed elsewhere in this volume.

Keywords:   health professions, regulation, risk, support workers, United Kingdom

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