There’s too much red tape! (and Queen Anne’s dead)


Posted on March 14th, by geoff in CT blog. 1 Comment

By Caring Times editor Geoff Hodgson

Business, Innovation & Skills has just published a report which says care homes have to bear too great a burden of red tape. To say this report is long overdue would be rubbish – there have been so many similar reports.

Just last year a report from the Professional Standards Authority arrived at the same conclusion. The year before that the Joseph Rowntree Foundation published its report which said paperwork was killing care and in the same year it was forecast that the new Deprivation of Liberty Standards would create a ‘mountain of paperwork’.

Impatient for action, in 2012 the Care Providers Alliance appointed former CSCI boss Dame Denise Platt as its ‘Red Tape Champion” – time for a progress report? I think it’s safe to say that in the UK (and in many other places) all facets of human activity are now more regulated than they have ever been before. Regulation is a synonym for government. Government equals regulation equals red tape, so what we are really wishing for when we call for a reduction in red tape, is less government, and that’s never going to be a government initiated process.

Let’s make an engineering analogy: you can bolt-on ever more accessories to monitor and govern the operation of an engine, let’s say an aircraft engine, until a point is reached where performance begins to be reduced. Add anything more and performance will be compromised to the point where the engine can no longer keep the aircraft in the air. The engineers will then remove some of the regulatory and monitoring mechanisms until effective function is restored.

Alas, the analogy doesn’t fly when it comes to social care and most other human activities, because the regulators and monitors are government employees. And those flightless birds aren’t going to vote for Christmas.

  • The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.




One response to “There’s too much red tape! (and Queen Anne’s dead)”

  1. John Burton says:

    We can only assume that the Care Providers’ Alliance appointed Denise Platt as their red tape champion because she and her side-kick at CSCI, Behan, were true champions of red tape, along with rest of the “industry” elite who have long forgotten what social care exists for. We now have another army of red tape experts (many of them ex-inspectors) helping care providers to survive strangulation.
    Red carpets are another problem: parading, patronising and applauding those who have survived.
    The “crisis” in social care is the diversion of resources away from the core task, lining the pockets of the elite.


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