“Less government – better outcomes?” Prove it!


UKAS has had a think tank.  Lord Lindsay, the chairman, has been leading discussion on the response UKAS can make to the coalition government’s plans for less regulation.  You can read about it on p4-5 here.

UKAS’s position is secured from competition in the UK by legislation.  They have marketed accreditation by themselves as an alternative to regulation by legislation.    Legislation is subject to a process of democratic accountability.  However, international working groups agree ISO standards.  While there may be a period of consultation, there is little chance of an effective challenge by those outside the accreditation mindset. 

Accreditation is virtually legislation and is virtually unaccountable . 

Read of their think tank.  They want to use behavioural economics and behavioural science to nudge individuals into making the right decisions (i.e. not the decisions that the individuals freely want to make.) 

They see accreditation as an alternative to regulation.  Those subject to it do not see the difference because from their viewpoint it is more obsessive over small details than laws generally are. 

They are discussing with government how UKAS can fill the void that regulation might leave.   “One in, one out” – They think regulation can only be removed when it is replaced by another rule enforced by UKAS rather than central government and the courts.  

The TUC and the government have grown so close by working in partnership that one can barely criticise the other because they share responsibility for the decisions that were made. 

UKAS understand that they cannot measure what they are talking about but are determined to press ahead with the dogma that sustains the organisation anyway.  

They see accreditation as less intrusive and cheaper than legislation.  Where is the evidence for this?

They behave like NHS managers who take action mainly to generate projects that are supposed to justify their continued employment.  Management by projects and workstreams wastes the time of staff who have professional qualifications in their own area of clinical practice – patient care.  The projects are usually to save money but managers never estimate how much money the successful project will save.  This leaves them free from accountability when their projects are completed. 

UKAS cannot accept that staff might behave professionally without government regulation or accreditation. 

Do NHS staff really need to be both registered with bodies like the Health Professions Council (HPC) or General Medical Council (GMC) and the tests they perform accredited?

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