Skip navigation

Busting bureaucracy in the health and care sector

27 Nov 2020

Christine Elliott

HCPC Chair of Council

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, made a compelling case for the need to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy in the health and care sector, with the launch of the DHSC’s new bureaucracy busting strategy. We welcome this strategy and the Secretary of State’s continued commitment to reducing the burden of inefficient red tape on health and care professionals

The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to professionals and the public that health and care can be delivered effectively and safely, when regulators are able to work flexibly and respond to the immediate demands . A key example of this was the HCPC’s creation of two temporary Registers, during the pandemic, which enabled students and former Registrants to practise on a temporary basis, boosting the capacity of health and care services. A number of our Registrants were also able to take on different health and care service roles due, in part, to their status as regulated professionals. This flexible, responsive attitude should be at the heart of health and care regulation.

One of the key areas where this approach should be adopted is in Fitness to Practise regulation, and we were pleased to see that the strategy recognises the need for streamlining in this area. Over the last year, we have accelerated our own improvements in this area through our FtP improvement programme, and though there is more to do to realise the benefits, being an effective regulator would be greatly assisted by modernisation.

At the HCPC, we believe health and care professionals perform at their best when unencumbered by unnecessary bureaucracy, in a regulatory environment which highlights the importance of innovation, pragmatism and decisiveness. The removal of some of the excessive red tape in the health and care sector will enable these key workers to do their jobs more efficiently and provide an even better service to the public.

We are committed to light touch, proportionate, risk-based regulation, and we have adopted those principles during the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe these principles represent the most effective way to keep patients and service users safe, while enabling the professionals we regulate to innovate and adapt to the rapidly changing world of health and care.

As we move to the next stage of this pandemic, the HCPC hopes the measures laid out by the Secretary of State in the bureaucracy busting strategy signal a commitment towards a more agile and modernised healthcare sector. We look forward to working closely with the Government on the next stages of this important work.

Page updated on: 27/11/2020