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