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A new year provides a new opportunity to strive for regulatory reform

In our first blog of 2019, Alan Clamp explains why setting intentions is the smarter approach to succeeding than the usual new-year resolutions. One of our 2019 intentions is to continue to push for regulatory reform.

Happy New Year to one and all. Let me first wish everyone health and happiness for 2019 whatever politics and fate might have in store for us.

There’s often a tendency to revert to the cliché of resolutions when writing a New Year blog. It’s certainly a handy editorial device but I’m loath to rely too heavily on it. Resolutions are traditionally made to be broken. Google ‘new year resolutions’ and you’ll easily stumble across a survey or two which aim to prove the point. Over time, more humans than not will eventually break their resolve and abandon the promises they made to themselves and others.

And so, it appears that resolutions have had a rebrand. We’re being encouraged to set intentions, not resolutions. Intentions can be made daily, weekly or monthly, but the idea is they are more achievable, less onerous and therefore more likely to succeed.

This concept appeals to me. In these uncertain times, setting intentions to do the best job in regulation that we can, be it daily, weekly and monthly, feels like the right path to take. That said, it’s not something new here at the Authority. We’ve always strived to improve regulation for public protection and it’s at the heart of our operating principles.

Twelve months ago, we were in the throes of the government’s consultation on regulatory reform, Promoting professionalism, reforming regulation. Open for 12 weeks, it closed on 23 January 2018 and we are waiting for the government to publish its response to the feedback received. While this is understandable, given the demands of Brexit legislation, we will continue to push for confirmation of much-needed change to professional healthcare regulation. In a recent blog, we outlined our views on why radical reform of regulation must begin now.

To all those who work in this field, it’s clear – and has been for some time – that the current system is flawed. Significant changes are needed, such as those put forward in many of our publications, but crystallised in Rethinking regulation. We have every hope that 2019 is the year in which these changes are realised. But until that time comes, we have every intention of continuing to perform our role to the best of our ability, to improve what we do and to play our part in protecting patients and the public.

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Please note the views expressed in these blogs are those of the individual bloggers and do not necessarily reflect those of the Professional Standards Authority.