MPs will break up tomorrow for the summer holidays. The last days of term have always been busy ones for Government for as long as I can remember with their slew of announcements and a general clearing of the decks. So it was today.
We saw a further two follow-up papers to the Health White Paper published including one setting out how the Government intends to reshuffle, amalgamate and swallow various arms-length bodies.
Even if you take only a cursory look at the above announcement you will notice the reference to a new research regulator in respect of the Government’s expected decision to disappear the HTA and HFEA. Page 18 of the document issued today talks in more detail about a single regulator for research and a radical simplification of research subject to the Academy of Medica Sciences ongoing review.
The promisory note for streamining regulation is welcome. I suspect there is now some pressure on the Academy to finish its review sooner rather than later given that the Government timetable (also in the document) talks about the Health Bill and Public Bodies Bill being introduced in parliament in the autumn. Given the gargantuan nature of all the reforms my only concern is that each aspect receives proper parliamentary consideration at the appropriate time. I’m aso interested in the public accountability model that will be adopted for the new body.