Since April 2013, the National Clinical Assessment Service (NCAS), which is a division of the National Health Service Litigation Authority (NHS LA), has been responsible for issuing Healthcare Professional Alert Notices (HPANs) as required by the Healthcare Professional Alert Notices Directions 20061 and The NHS LA Directions 20132.
The HPAN system is a process, which is used to inform NHS bodies and others of healthcare professionals whose performance or conduct gives rise to concern. HPANs are usually used whilst the regulator is considering the concerns and provides an additional safeguard during the pre-employment checking process. Further information on the operation of the system is available in Guidance from NHS Employers; this is in the process of being updated3.
HPANs are issued where it is considered that:
- patients or staff may be at risk of harm from inadequate or unsafe clinical practice or from inappropriate behaviour,
- there is a risk that an individual may pose a threat to patients or staff because their conduct compromises the effective functions of a team or local primary care service.
It is also used to notify NHS bodies and others of a bogus healthcare practitioner.
More information can be found at:
1Healthcare Professionals Alert Notices Directions 2006
2The National Health Service Litigation Authority Directions 2013
3Safer recruitment – scheme for the issue of alert notices for healthcare professionals in England, NHS Employers, November 2006