Budget pledge to cut red tape facing social care enterprises

The government has vowed to axe the red tape that is hampering small social care providers and develop the telecare industry, as part of today's Budget announcement.

The government has vowed to axe the red tape that is hampering small social care providers and develop the telecare industry, as part of today’s Budget announcement.

Chancellor George Osborne’s growth review said today that some regulations would be “clarified” as they were not designed or intended for small social care providers.

Four red-tape busting proposals were unveiled but the review anticipated that more regulations would be lifted in future to save small social care providers time and money.

The move has been welcomed by Naaps UK, the national network for small community service providers, which has been campaigning for many years to exempt members from burdensome regulations.

“We hope this will be an ongoing attitude change which is much more about different departments working together taking a more pragmatic and innovative approach,” said chief executive Alex Fox.

“It could result in both more micro-enterprises and in all kinds of innovative social care businesses doing what they want rather than fitting into existing regulations.”

Included in the plans:

• The Food Standards Agency is looking at whether the restaurant-style regulations on tiny food businesses based in a person’s home which provide food for elderly neighbours, are really necessary.

• The government will make clear the employment and tax rights and responsibilities of social care users who receive a direct payment.

• In the summer, the government will publish further guidance to local licensing authorities clarifying what types of vehicles should fall within the scope of private hire vehicle legislation. This will exempt most car journeys undertaken by domiciliary care services, it said.

• The government also intends to make criminal records checks transferable between jobs and for a criminal records certificate to be issued directly to the applicant.

The government also said it will work with the Technology Strategy Board to develop assisted living products, such as telecare, through an £18m investment programme across a range of UK sites, and establish a code of practice to provide quality assurance to customers.

It will also work with the industry to reduce costs and build greater awareness of the technology among GP commissioners and the new health and well-being boards that are being set up under the government’s reforms to the NHS.

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