Another week, another consultation. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (DBIS) are holding a review of regulatory enforcement in the adult social care sector. The website says:
In this review, we are asking anyone involved or interested in the adult care home sector to let us know their views and experiences on how current enforcement of regulation in this sector is working. This is part of an initiative to drive up standards and enable providers to achieve the highest standards of care, while removing confusing bureaucratic requirements that divert carers from meeting the needs of residents.
Can I strongly, strongly, implore you to respond to this consultation, and help to drive home the message that regulation of health and social care services is not just pointless bureaucracy, it is a vital safeguard for ensuring the rights of service users, and their families, are protected. Why is DBIS hosting a review of social care regulation, I hear you wonder, why not the Department of Health? Because care is business. It’s big business. And businesses, as a general rule, don’t like “red tape”. DBIS is also the home of Better Regulation, born of the Hampton Report, which kick started the process of introducing “risk-responsive” regulation in social care in order to reduce the ‘burden’ it posed to business. This “better regulation” approach, as interpreted by CSCI, had the effect of massively reducing inspection frequencies, as this chart shows:
So this review is especially important for driving home the point that regulation isn’t just red tape, it’s vital to promoting the safety and wellbeing of people in care services. Perhaps you might also want to describe how regulation can contribute towards improvements which can’t always be measured in economic growth. I know CQC aren’t perfect, but it’s important to support their role through highlighting the good they do, as well as where they can work to improve.
And whilst we’re on the subject of consultations… you might also want to see what the Cabinet Office are up to with their review of ‘red tape’ in health and social care. That’ll be red tape like advocates, like detention safeguards. I’ll delegate my rantings on that to Mark Neary and Ermintrude. I find it hard to believe anybody in the Cabinet Office even knows what an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate is, but that makes this ideological, blustering, wide ranging and ramshackle “review” even more scary. Honestly, this lot will be abolishing law itself next. In all seriousness, the review by DBIS looks a lot more credible, and less about grabbing cheap headlines, to me.
And if that still isn’t enough consultation for you, you can still respond to the CQC’s consultation on its strategy for the next three years – the consultation closes on 6th December.