Government to cut red tape on care regulation, environment and local businesses

Red tape cutting initiatives worth £10bn announced by the government, including reducing regulation on care home inspections, have been welcomed by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

According to the recent Cutting Red Tape review, residential care homes spend roughly 16 days a year dealing with inspections and 25 days a year handling information requests.

The government is therefore seeking to lead a programme of work to make sure that the multiple interventions made by public bodies that deal with care homes are targeted, proportionate and co-ordinated and will clarify the purpose of each public body.

Andrea Sutcliffe, chief inspector of adult social care at the CQC, welcomed the proposals, saying: “The responsibility for delivering safe, effective, person-centred and high quality care clearly rests with providers, supported by their commissioners and funders. Regulators must not get in the way of that – we have to ensure that we add value by setting clear expectations, providing transparent information about our judgments, encouraging improvement and tackling poor care when we find it.”

Sutcliffe has previously promised that the CQC is committed to taking tough actionagainst unacceptable care.

Last year PSE interviewed Sutcliffe about Care Improvement Works, a new online resource to help care providers improve their services.

More generally, the government proposes to cut regulations on business by a one-in, three-out principal, in order to reach the £10bn savings target.

Environmental regulation looks particularly vulnerable, with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs publishing business-focused guidance into waste and the Department of Energy and Climate Change consulting on whether to update regulation on energy storage.

A further Cutting Red Tape review, launched yesterday, aims to simplify local council regulation of businesses by looking at areas such as complaints procedures and the number of visits and inspections.

Speaking at the BBC annual conference, business secretary Sajid Javid MP said: “This government is delivering on its commitment to free firms from £10bn of heavy-handed over-regulation and build a more productive Britain.

“Hundreds of businesses responded to our Cutting Red Tape reviews and we are taking decisive action based on their experiences. Whenever we need to introduce new rules, we will consider their impact and make savings elsewhere.”

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