Health and care regulation is incoherent and expensive and there is little evidence for its effectiveness, says the Professional Standards Authority (PSA), an independent body which oversees organisations that regulate health and care professionals in the UK.
In a new report, ‘Rethinking Regulation’, published on 6 August 2015, the PSA calls for the redesign of regulation in order to deal with pressure on the health and care sector.
Without reform, it argues, health and care systems in the UK cannot face up to future challenges that include an ageing population, long-term conditions, comorbidity, the rising cost of health technologies and a global shortage of health and care workers.
“Piecemeal adjustments to health and care regulation have, over time, made the system cumbersome, ineffective and expensive,” says Harry Cayton, PSA’s chief executive. “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.”
The report makes several recommendations, including shared objectives for system and professional regulators, and a rebuilding of trust between professionals, the public and regulators.
The pharmacy regulator, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), says the report highlights the importance of professional and systems regulators working together to achieve a common goal.
The GPhC plans to factor the report into its own research and evaluation when setting standards.