Minister for Health Lord Prior is setting up the Burden Reduction Challenge Panel in partnership with NHS Providers, NHS Confederation and Care England.
The panel will look at evidence of both the burdens and benefits of current NHS and social care regulatory activity and will then challenge their use and necessity. Regulatory activity judged to be unnecessary by the panel and relevant officials will be amended or removed.
The organisations will engage health professionals to provide evidence that will feed into the panel. The panel’s first session will focus on data and information requests, at both national and local level.
Lord Prior said:
To address fundamentally the burden of red tape across health and social care, we need to look through the lens of those on the frontline. We will make changes to deliver tangible benefits for both staff and patients.
The panel represents a commitment by all members to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens on front line staff, increasing focus on patient contact and care.
Panel members will include senior figures from the Department of Health, its arm’s length bodies, and membership organisations.
Commenting on the launch of the panel, NHS Providers chief executive Chris Hopson said: “Our annual regulation survey has found that the level of regulatory burden experienced by NHS trusts has consistently increased over the last couple of years and this panel presents a good opportunity to get underneath this and explore where improvements can be made. We welcome Lord Prior’s interest and support in this area, and look forward to working with the Department of Health, arms length bodies and other representative bodies in this new endeavour.”
Professor Martin Green OBE, chief executive of Care England, said: “At a time of incredible pressure on the care and health sector, we can ill afford to waste time and resources on unnecessary regulation. It is important that regulation is used to ensure the safety and quality of services and is not an end in itself.
“The Burden Challenge Panel will be an opportunity for regulation to be scrutinised to ensure that it is fit for purpose, and not too onerous to administer. I commend Lord Prior for his commitment to reducing the burdens of regulation, and for working in partnership with the care and health sector to achieve it.”