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NHS Confederation - New panel to reduce the burden of bureaucratic red tape in health and social care

NHS Providers, NHS Confederation and Care England are supporting a new initiative from the Department of Health to reduce the burden of bureaucratic red tape across the health and social care front line. 

The Burden Reduction Challenge Panel, created and chaired by Lord Prior and run in partnership with the three independent membership organisations, will provide evidence of both the burdens and benefits of current regulatory activity and oversight that front line organisations operate under. It will then challenge their use and necessity. Regulatory activity judged to be unnecessary by the panel and relevant officials will be amended or removed.

NHS Providers, NHS Confederation and Care England will engage health and social care 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. The panel will review the value and burden of activity in this area and make recommendations in early 2017 for improvements to ensure maximum value is gained from the information we collect nationally and locally, and that the regulatory burden on the front line is reduced. 

Panel members include senior figures from the Department of Health, its arms-length bodies, and the three membership bodies. 

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.”

Phil McCarvill, Deputy Director of Policy at the NHS Confederation said: “As the NHS battles to stretch its funding ever further, we need to get to grips with the sheer volume, and cost, of data that is requested from commissioners and providers and make the best use of the data that is gathered. We’re pleased Ministers and arms-length bodies are committed to working with the NHS and social care on addressing this costly issue.”

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