Tongue-Tie | 13 May 2019
At the end of last year the Association of Tongue-tie Practitioners took the difficult step of advising members providing private tongue tie division to suspend their services. This was based on legal advice with the aim of protecting practitioners and not as the result of any complaint, adverse incident or risk to the public. Back in 2012 when the ATP was first set up the Care Quality Commission (CQC) was contacted regarding the need for private practitioners to register with them as surgical procedures are regulated activities according to the CQC regulations. However, the advice of the CQC at that time was that private practitioners did not need to register as it fell under an exemption for private nursing care.
With a growing number of practitioners setting up in private practice this query was raised again more recently several times and the responses from the CQC this time were vague and conflicting. If in doubt the CQC themselves advise practitioners to seek legal advice so this is what the ATP did. Our barrister confirmed that the regulations and laws underpinning them are difficult to follow and not well written but it was his view that we should be registered with the CQC and to avoid any further risk of prosecution suspend services in the interim.
A solicitor acting on behalf of the ATP wrote to the CQC requesting clarification on 3 January. After 5 long weeks and after consulting with parliament, their legal team and other regulatory bodies the CQC confirmed on 8 February that private tongue-tie practitioners did need to register with them for surgical procedures (https://www.cqc.org.uk/news/providers/briefing-providers-tongue-tie).
Since then ATP members have sought registration and many applications have been completed and registration granted and many more are in progress. Some practitioners have registering with organisations such as Private Midwives which means they work under their governance arrangements and CQC registration so do not need to register as individuals. There has been lots of speculation so I hope this clarifies the situation.