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11.06.15

Government remains ‘committed’ to healthcare regulation reform

This week the long-running and low-rumbling debate on reforming health and social care professional regulation was given another public airing. The result: slightly disappointing and non-committal. 

Following the omission of the Law Commission’s proposed bill from the Queen’s Speech last year and again last month, regulators remain “disappointed”. 

It was hoped that a parliamentary question from Liberal Democrat peer Lord Kirkwood might shine some light on the matter. However, the health minister, Lord Prior, only said that government remains committed to bringing forward legislation “as soon as Parliamentary time allows” – the same response given to NHE last year

He said: “The Law Commissions made 125 recommendations to reform the existing complex and burdensome regulatory system. The joint four United Kingdom country response to the Law Commission was published on 29 January 2015 which accepted wholly or in part the vast majority of its recommendations. 

“This will be a substantial Bill and it is important that Parliament has sufficient time to give it the consideration it requires.” 

Recently Jackie Smith, chief executive and registrar at the Nursing and Midwifery Council, whom NHE has talked to about this issue on many occasions, said: “There is an overwhelming consensus that our current legislation is hopelessly out of date, inefficient and costly. It does not serve the public or the professions well. We are now left continuing to spend the majority of resources on the few where concerns have been raised. 

“We urgently need reform that enables us to regulate nurses and midwives in the twenty-first century and we will continue to press for much needed change which will enable us to serve the professions and the public well.” 

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@nationalhealthexecutive.com

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