Rebecca Evans Minister for Social Services and Public Health
The Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016 received Royal Assent on 18 January 2016. The Act forms the basis of a new statutory framework for the regulation and inspection of social care in Wales.
Regulations under the Act are being developed in phases, through consultation and engagement process with key stakeholders.
In June 2016, the Welsh Government began a 12-week formal consultation on the first phase of regulations to be made under the Act. Following the end of that consultation in September 2016, this statement updates Assembly Members on the outcome of the consultation and on the next steps, including the laying of Phase 1 regulations.
During the 12-week consultation period, two events were held, involving around 130 delegates representing a wide range of stakeholder bodies from across Wales. Following these I was pleased to receive 48 substantive written responses from a broad mix of individuals, representative groups, local government and professional organisations.
The overall response was positive, with respondents expressing support for the principles and the detail of the draft regulations. These responses have provided us with much valuable input and we have used this evidence to make changes as a result, further developing and refining our regulations.
Further detail on the consultation outcomes and our response is available within the consultation summary report which I am publishing today. The report can be accessed at:
The report highlights key changes to the workforce-related regulations including:
- Clarifying the circumstances in which student social care workers must be registered.
- Clarifying that a ‘finding of fact’ will not be made in interim order proceedings, whether before an interim orders panel or a fitness to practise panel.
- Amending the constitution of panels regulations to provide more clarity on who may not serve as a panel member.
- Amendments have also been made to ensure that the terminology of the regulations is consistent with that of the Act.
Other comments received as part of the consultation will be used in preparing the local authority annual report template and supporting toolkit, mandated by the Local Authority Social Services Annual Reports (Prescribed Form) Regulations 2016, to be laid next month; as well in the drafting of regulations around service inspection and regulation, and regulated advocacy services, to be brought forward in Phase 2.
Following on from this, today I will be laying the following workforce-related regulations, revised as outlined above, before the Assembly for scrutiny, with a view to putting this part of the statutory framework in place well before its intended coming into force date of 3 April 2017:
- The Social Care Wales (Extension of Meaning of “Social Care Worker”) Regulations 2016 (Affirmative Procedure)
- The Social Care Wales (Specification of Social Care Workers) (Registration) Regulations 2016 (Affirmative Procedure)
- The Social Care Wales (Content of Register) Regulations 2016 (Negative Procedure)
- The Social Care Wales (List of Persons Removed from the Register) Regulations 2016 (Negative Procedure)
- The Social Care Wales (Constitution of Panels: Prescribed Persons) Regulations 2016 (Negative Procedure)
- The Social Care Wales (Proceedings before Panels) Regulations 2016 (Negative Procedure)
The regulations and associated explanatory memorandum, once laid, will be available for viewing at: