Saturday, March 10, 2007

Regulation in the news: the NHS and social housing

Red tape is in the news this week.

According to the NHS Confederation, bureaucracy in the NHS is increasing with 56 bodies having a role in inspecting, assessing or monitoring the NHS. Is this necessary? (Report pdf available.)

With greater patient choice and more diversity of providers there should surely competition should replace regulation to some extent at least. Regulation should focus more promoting competition among providers (like OFCOM and other regulators) and disseminating information for “consumers”.

There is the on-going debate about regulation in social housing with the Cave review. This week Inside Housing has an interesting overview of the arguments from the various interested parties. (Sadly the article is not on the IH website.)

I strongly favour proposals for contestability and “choice based management” with the tenants able to exercise choice when their landlords fail them. This mechanism has been suggested by the Audit Commission in their submission to the Cave Review.

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