Mark Drakeford, Minister for Health and Social Services
The Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Bill (“the Bill”) has been introduced today, 23 February 2015.
The Bill is the next step in ensuring that social services in Wales are sustainable and fit for the future. It will reform and update the regulatory framework for social care in Wales. It will support the changes being delivered under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014.
The Bill provides a streamlined and flexible legislative framework for the delivery of social care in Wales and one which focusses on high standards and encourages improvement.
Reforming and simplifying regulation
This Bill reforms the regulatory process for care and support services in Wales. The system will be based on regulated services rather than establishments and agencies based on the principle that anyone providing a regulated service in Wales will be required to register that service in Wales.
The Bill will place clear responsibilities on owners of regulated services both in their capacity as providers of regulated services and employers in the care and support sector. The designation of a ‘responsible individual’, who will need to comply with certain ‘fitness to practise’ requirements, will be a step toward ensuring corporate accountability of providers.
The Bill establishes a clear process for the service regulator to work with providers to achieve improvement. It provides more effective powers for the regulator to act quickly and decisively where care is deemed to be beyond repair.
This Bill will make information about the quality of care delivered by service providers and individual settings more readily available. The same will apply to the performance of local authorities in the delivery of their social services functions.
The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 established an outcome- based approach to the delivery of care and support. This Bill will ensure that this is embedded in the regulatory system.
The Bill introduces a new requirement for local authorities and Welsh Ministers to consider and publish reports on the stability of the care sector, in the present and in the future.
Social Care Workforce
The Bill will define the regulation of the social care workforce. It will reconstitute the Care Council for Wales as Social Care Wales which will work to support the development of the social care workforce and strengthen service improvement.
The Bill will establish powers for regulatory bodies to share information to enable better co-operation and joint working.