The burden of regulation on healthcare staff is becoming so great that it is hindering patient care, the NHS Alliance has warned.
The comments come in response to a Healthcare Commission report that concluded the NHS must do more to become world class.
The NHS Alliance, which represents staff working in primary care, said there is an urgent need for a dialogue with the Healthcare Commission in order to establish a balance between the needs of the regulators and the needs of individual patients.
Dr Michael Dixon, NHS Alliance chairman, said: "The purpose of regulation is to protect patients and ensure services are planned and delivered effectively. There is a danger that it is developing a life of its own divorced from that. We urge the Healthcare Commission to discuss with those who deliver care to patients the best way forward."
Primary care trusts are also sometimes finding that the time and effort needed to satisfy the demands of regulators is distorting their essential day to day work for patients, Dr Dixon said.
The Healthcare Commission report said PCTs were not in touch with the health needs of local people.