Press release

Health Red Tape Challenge Launched

People are being invited to give their ideas on how to remove excessive burdens and reduce bureaucracy across the health and social care sector, to give health professionals more time to care for patients, Public Health Minister Anna Soubry announced today.

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The initiative is part of the Red Tape Challenge, the Government’s drive to reduce unnecessary regulation and the Healthy Living and Social Care theme will be live on the Red Tape Challenge website until 11th December.

Healthcare providers and members of the public will be able to comment on more than 500 Department of Health regulations covering a range of areas across quality of care, mental health, the NHS, professional standards and public health.

Since its launch in April 2011, the Red Tape Challenge has looked at more than 4,000 regulations across Government. So far, more than 1,000 of these regulations are set to be scrapped or overhauled and a number of improvements have already been made to health regulations relating to pharmaceutical services and social care.

The Red Tape Challenge approach is that all regulations are available to comment on - however this does not mean that all of them will be abolished. Important public health regulation will be kept in place and in some cases we expect regulation to be improved. People are invited to comment on which regulations should be scrapped or kept and improved. Each regulation that is kept in place will be assessed and improvements made based on comments received through the Red Tape Challenge website or inbox.

As part of the Red Tape Challenge, regulations that have an impact on business, the voluntary sector or the public are being opened up to scrutiny.

Public Health Minister Anna Soubry said:

“This Challenge will give the public, healthcare workers and clinicians a vital opportunity to let us know how we can improve the way we regulate or how we can do things differently, whilst ensuring the public is protected.

“We will use the feedback they give us to plan how to get rid of requirements that are no longer needed, freeing up business from unnecessary red tape and giving health professionals more time to care for patients.”

Alongside this, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is launching its Focus on Enforcement review, which is part of the Government’s commitment to regulate all businesses more efficiently and to cut the red tape that holds back growth. The six-week Focus on Enforcement consultation starting today is part of a drive to enable providers to achieve the highest standards of care and better protect residents, without being weighed down by unnecessary bureaucracy.

Notes to editors

For further information contact the Department of Health press office on 020 7210 5281.

  1. The Red Tape Challenge was launched by the Prime Minister in April 2011. It gives business and the public the chance to have their say, by theme, on the regulations that affect their everyday lives.

  2. Around 6,500 regulations across Government are currently expected to undergo Red Tape Challenge scrutiny by the end of 2013. At least 3,000 of these will be scrapped or reduced. By ‘scrapped’, we mean that regulation is completely removed from the statute book. By ‘reduced’, we mean that regulations are reduced in number (e.g. a consolidation, making the rules simpler to find and follow); and/or in terms of the burden they impose (for example: reducing who is caught by the regulation; removing domestic gold-plating of EU law; active renegotiation of EU law; simplifying requirements set by the regulation or in related guidance; or reducing the burden of inspection and enforcement arising from the regulation). Around 1,500 of the 3,000 changes will have a measurable financial benefit for business: this does not include consolidations of regulations without any changes to the content of those regulations.

  3. The Red Tape Challenge comprises regulation of UK origin and regulation that transposes EU laws. It does not include legislation or regulations falling within the responsibilities of the devolved administrations, tax and fees legislation or national security matters.

The Red Tape Challenge website is available here.

  1. The Focus on Enforcement review is part of the Government’s commitment to regulate all businesses more efficiently and to cut the red tape that holds back growth.  It will focus solely on the way regulation is delivered, not on the underlying legislation which is covered by the Red Tape Challenge.  The Focus on Enforcement website is available here.
Published 6 November 2012