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Health regulators are not fit for purpose, says new report

The UK’s health regulators are currently unfit for purpose and need to be urgently reformed so they better support healthcare professionals providing services, a new report has claimed.

According to the report, Rethinking Regulation, published by the Professional Standards Authority, the UK’s current regulators – including the CQC – are too expensive to fund, and are over-complicated.

The report also claims that it is not clear as to whether regulators have improved the quality of care for patients, and questions if the benefit of this approach outweighs the ‘very considerable cost’ to carry the regulatory process.

The chief executive of the Professional Standards Authority, Harry Cayton, said: ‘Piecemeal adjustments to health and care regulation have, over time, made the system cumbersome, ineffective and expensive. Every part of our health and care system is changing in order to meet future needs. If patients are to benefit, regulation must undergo radical change too.

‘Regulation is asked to do too much – and to do things it should not do. We need to understand that we cannot regulate risk out of healthcare and to use regulation only where we have evidence that it actually works. Ironically, the regulations that are meant to protect patients and service users are distracting professionals from this very task.’

Earlier in the year, a Pulse investigation revealed how GP practices could see their CQC fees double as the Government seeks to phase out its funding of the regulator.