The head of the body that oversees health and care regulators in the UK has criticised the Department of Health for delaying reforms to its funding arrangements.

Harry Cayton, chief executive of the Professional Standards Authority, told HSJ that plans to make the body less reliant on government funding were being held up by the DH.

Speaking ahead of a consultation on the proposals due out this week, Mr Cayton said “ludicrous” demands from the Treasury had also slowed the authority’s attempts to become independent from government.

Harry Cayton

Harry Cayton said the Treasury had made the PSA’s path to independence a ‘tortuous process’

Currently, the PSA receives 80 per cent of its £4.5m income from the DH, with the rest coming from other authorities such as the devolved administrations.

Under proposed changes, the PSA would cease to be a DH arm’s length body from next April and receive its funding instead from the bodies it regulates and from private revenue raising activities.

Mr Cayton said the DH had been “slow” in releasing the formal consultation document, which had been due out in April.

The Treasury had made its path to greater independence a “tortuous process”, he added.

“The problem for me is I’m being asked to run the authority as a small business, but I’m being told by the Treasury that the rules that apply to a government department still apply to me running a small business.”

Mr Cayton said that he would like 10 per cent of the authority’s revenue come from consultancy services to overseas governments.  

This year it has already raised 8 per cent of its income come from providing consultancy service to authorities in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Hong Kong and Ireland.

A spokesman for the DH said: “We are on course to bring in changes to regulatory fees by April 2015.

“We will be launching a consultation on this shortly.”