A review by the Department of Health found that 128 of the 555 regulations covering public health, quality of care, mental health, NHS and professional standards were not necessary. It also found that another 252 could be improved.
Following the review, the department will take forward proposals including:
- removing outdated rules that ban the sale of HIV home testing kits so that people have more choice on how to get tested or treated early, and so businesses can benefit
- simplifying a large number of professional standards regulations
- working with the Department for Communities and Local Government to reduce duplication of care home inspections by the Care Quality Commission and local authorities
- reviewing the Deprivation of Liberty forms used by hospitals and care homes where authorisation is required to deprive a person of their liberty when they lack the mental capacity to consent to treatment or care, in response to comments received about their number and complexity
- updating the Nursery Milk regulations to make the scheme more efficient and sustainable
- working with retailers to to make the paper vouchers for the Healthy Start scheme easier to handle
The review was carried out as part of the government’s Red Tape Challenge, which looked at regulations across Whitehall, with the aim of removing them unless there was a very good case for them to remain.
Between November 2012 and January 2013, the 555 healthy living and social care regulations underwent public consultation through the Red Tape Challenge website and comments were received from a wide variety of organisations and individuals on a number of areas of DH regulation. These were carefully examined to decide which suggestions could be taken forward.
Many of DH’s regulations are essential to make sure patients and the public are properly protected, and that high standards are maintained. The Department has however looked at where regulatory reform is appropriate and should be made to reduce unnecessary burdens.
The document ‘Proposals for the regulations in the Healthy Living & Social Care Red Tape Challenge theme’ shows the full list of regulations to be removed and improved.
More information can be found in the written ministerial statement.