Health regulators ‘unfit for future’, says new report

The report, entitled ‘Rethinking regulation’, argues that without reform the health and care system in the UK will be unable to cope with challenges moving onto the future, including the ageing population and the shortage of healthcare workers.

The PSA makes a number of suggestions for how regulation can be improved, which include: shared objectives for system and professional regulators; transparent benchmarking to set standards; a rebuilding of trust between professionals, the public and regulators; a reduced scope of regulation so it focuses on what works; and a proper risk assessment model.

Harry Cayton, Chief Executive of the PSA, said: “Piecemeal adjustments to health and care regulation have, over time, made the system cumbersome, ineffective and expensive. Every part of our health and care system is changing in order to meet future needs. If patients are to benefit, regulation must undergo radical change too.

“Regulation is asked to do too much - and to do things it should not do. We need to understand that we cannot regulate risk out of healthcare and to use regulation only where we have evidence that it actually works. Ironically, the regulations that are meant to protect patients and service users are distracting professionals from this very task.”

Read the report here

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