The UK Government has launched a new scheme aimed at reducing red tape in public health and social care.

The six-week long initiative wants healthcare professionals and the public to comment on regulations covering a range of areas including quality of care, mental health, the NHS, public health and professional standards.

The initiative is part of the Red Tape Challenge, the government’s drive to reduce unnecessary regulation across a number of areas. The new ‘Healthy Living and Social Care’ theme will be live on the Red Tape Challenge website until 11 December.

Healthcare providers and members of the public will be able to comment on more than 500 Department of Health regulations covering a range of areas across quality of care, mental health, the NHS, professional standards and public health.

As part of the Red Tape Challenge, regulations that have an impact on business, the voluntary sector or the public are being opened up to scrutiny. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is also launching its ‘Focus on Enforcement’ review, which is part of the government’s commitment to regulate all businesses more efficiently.

The recently appointed public health minister Anna Soubry, said: “This Challenge will give the public, healthcare workers and clinicians a vital opportunity to let us know how we can improve the way we regulate or how we can do things differently, whilst ensuring the public is protected.

“We will use the feedback they give us to plan how to get rid of requirements that are no longer needed, freeing up business from unnecessary red tape and giving health professionals more time to care for patients.”

Since its launch in April 2011, the Red Tape Challenge has looked at more than 4,000 regulations across government.