It’s time for councils to step up and give a lead on care home visiting

By Claire Fox | 23 February 2021
  • Claire Fox

One common argument given by for vaccine hesitancy is: how could the jabs be developed so quickly? In response, officialdom has been forced to admit that one key reason it’s been possible to develop safe, life-saving vaccines in super-fast time is because many unnecessary bureaucratic and regulatory barriers were removed. Perhaps it’s a lesson that can be applied more broadly: it is a reminder that too much risk-averse regulation can get in the way of creative solutions.

So, I was encouraged to read in a recent letter from Department of Health and Social Care ministers to The Lords that their legislative proposals for a Health and Care Bill ‘will remove unnecessary bureaucracy that has made sensible decision-making harder’. It was noted that ‘the experience of the coronavirus pandemic’ has prompted a desire to ‘make it easier for local leaders to innovate by removing barriers and providing greater flexibility’. Good. But I hope we don’t have to wait for this new law to deploy such flexibility in the urgent challenges of social care for the elderly in residential homes.

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