The ‘Red Tape Challenge’ does Health and Social Care

Red Tape

We all knew it would come in time. This wonderful government idea to slash all that awful ‘red tape’ that stops people doing what the government otherwise would stop them doing finally arrives at Health and Social Care.

I had a brief look at some of the provisions detailed as ‘red tape’ for which the government is asking for comment and quite frankly, I am horrified.

What I might see as essential protections, they are presenting as ‘red tape’ and asking for feedback about potential abolition.

This is a consultation so it’s really important that as many people as possible to contribute and in the joyful spirit of openness, the website allows up to see the live commenting on others. I wonder how those with less technological access or knowledge are able to comment quite so openly about some of the provisions up in the air.

But openness and accessibility only seems to go so far and for the government departments responsible they seem to be after whipping up public distaste of ‘red tape’ although actually, we really do need to move from the idea that bureaucracy is necessarily bad.

There is a separate website entirely to focus on ‘ regulatory enforcement’ and where it might be unnecessary.I feel robust regulation (and thus, enforcement which has to follow as a result) is essential. The big problem with social care and health regulation since the CQC was established was the ‘light touch’ type approach which had been taken and the ‘back office’ regulation and not enough enforcement.  I really really hope that it is not cut back further. I want to see more regulation and stronger enforcement, not less of it.

But back to the ‘red tape challenge’. I want to share some of the provisions ‘up for discussion’ that the government has classed as ‘red tape’.  I’m solely concentrating on what is up under ‘Quality of Care and Mental Health Regulations’ as I felt that was the area I knew best. The numbers refer to the list of these ever so demanding provisions in the Excel list here.

39 is that oh so burdensome (!!!) regulation that requires the Care Quality Commission ‘to monitor and access for monitoring purposes, people who are deprived of their liberty’ and necessity to report this to the Department of Health.

40 is a nice one about requiring people ‘who assess Deprivation of Liberty’ to have an enhanced CRB.  – clearly unnecessary because.. er.. people who lack capacity and may potentially be subject to DoLs aren’t likely to be vulnerable, right? I think there’s an issue about effectiveness of CRBs in general but a bit worrying that that’s considered ‘red tape’.

43 is much more worrying as it is the obvious ‘red tape’ which introduced IMCAs as a safeguard for ‘those who have noone to speak on their behalf’ making them mandatory in abuse and review situations. RED TAPE??

55 is another ‘good one’ which ensures that IMHAs are ‘of an adequate standard’ because clearly, that is unnecessary (!?!)

Obviously there are many many more – I’ve just, for reasons of time, picked out a few that interest me personally but do have a look at them and COMMENT.

I’m frankly insulted that some of these provisions are even considered to be ‘red tape’  but as there’s an open consultation, it’s important that as many people as possible who know and understand the implications of removing them, to contribute.

If the government want to know what ‘red tape’ is in terms of adding unnecessary burdens, I’ll gladly explain about how useful (or not) it is to spend time recording how much time I spend on ‘smoking cessation’ work or time spent ‘clustering’ people according to diagnosis into tiny little tick boxes which are, clinically, unhelpful in order to get the ‘Payment by Results’ systems which will never work well, up and running. THAT’S red tape.

But it seems to be red tape that potentially infringes on the rights of those who might be least able to protect their own that they are classing as ‘red tape’ here.

Contribute to the consultation and let’s tell them how important some of these provisions are.

Oh, and someone should tell the Department of Health that the GSCC doesn’t exist anymore as they seem to have forgotten on their Professional Standards page (published this week!) but we know how much interest the Department of Health has in social work and social care so shouldn’t really be surprised.

Pic by Martin Deutsch@Flickr

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5 thoughts on “The ‘Red Tape Challenge’ does Health and Social Care

  1. words fail me….

  2. I have left a comment

  3. It might be more appropriate to call it the ‘masking tape’ challenge i.e. you introduce another initiative which purports to improve health and social care which is actually used to ‘mask’ the ineptitude of this shower to do anything of any real meaning!

    Disgruntled of Tunbridge Wells (aka Di of Bournemouth Universty)

  4. I’m glad I read this blog as it has brought home to me how heartless and cunning this Conservative government actually is. Surely as a society we should be looking at better ways of protecting those who need our care the most. Instead the ‘Red Tape Challenge’ seems to be determined to abolish regulations which are in place to protect the most vulnerable people in our society. The idea that getting rid of these regulations will somehow lead to service users getting a better standard of care doesn’t ring true. This is clear from looking at some of the regulations which are under threat. For example, provision 43 under the Quality of Care and Mental Health Regulations safeguard those who do not have a voice and yet this is one of the regulations which potentially could be abolished. I also found it hard to understand why provision 55 would be up for review considering its importance. By refusing to demand that Mental Health advocates are of an adequate standard you place the service user at risk. As a social work student I believe it is important that as we advocate on behalf of service users, we should therefore be expected to meet the high standards expected of us.

  5. This blog has brought home to me how heartless and cunning this Conservative government actually is. Surely as a society we should be looking at better ways of protecting those who need our care the most. Instead the ‘Red Tape Challenge’ seems to be determined to abolish regulations which are in place to protect the most vulnerable people in our society. The idea that getting rid of these regulations will somehow lead to service users getting a better standard of care doesn’t ring true. This is clear from looking at some of the regulations which are under threat (Care Quality Commission, 2012). For example, provision 43 under the Quality of Care and Mental Health Regulations safeguard those who do not have a voice and yet this is one of the regulations which potentially could be abolished. I also found it hard to understand why provision 55 would be up for review considering its importance. By refusing to demand that Mental Health advocates are of an adequate standard you place the service user at risk. As a social work student I believe it is important that as we advocate on behalf of service users, we should therefore be expected to meet the standards expected of us.

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