Trusts point to ‘lack of clarity’ in NHS regulation

9 Apr 18

Eight out of ten NHS trusts believe current regulation lacks clarity and direction, according to an NHS Providers survey.

Only one fifth of trusts that responded to the poll said they were clear about the future direction of the health and care system with regard to how they will be regulated.

The research also highlighted that, despite investing in sustainability and transformation partnerships and integrated care systems, many trusts do not know what regulators expect from these organisations.

Amber Jabbal, head of policy at NHS Providers, said: “Our survey shows that trust leaders feel more clarity is needed about what regulators will expect of trusts as they move forwards providing more integrated care for patients.

“Many feel that the regulatory environment in which they operate is not keeping up with this pace of change.”

Trust leaders acknowledged the potential positive impact of changes to the Care Quality Commission’s inspection model over the last year, but 62% said this would not reduce the administrative burden on trusts, the survey found.

Jabbal said: “The views of trust leaders show that the demands of regulators continue to place considerable strain on trusts’ time and staff, diverting resources away from the frontline and patient care.

“At a time when trusts are under tremendous pressure to meet ambitious financial targets, address workforce challenges and meet rising demand, it is disappointing to see the burden and the number of ad-hoc requests from regulators increase again.”

Findings from the survey, which received responses from 86 trusts, also suggested trusts would welcome more support from regulators and national bodies to collaborate with local improvement.

Respondents were in favour of NHS Improvement and NHS England working together to develop new models of oversight at local level.

The Department of Health and Social Care has been contacted for comment.

Did you enjoy this article?