23rd March 2012
Department of Social Care Consults on Regulation of Care Bill
The Department of Social Care has been holding a programme of meetings over the last month at venues all around the Island to give businesses and individuals an opportunity to learn more about the new Regulation of Care Bill.
The Bill is intended to ensure that care services on the Island are properly regulated as such so that the public and service users can be confident in the quality of care services available. Care services consist of social care (provided by the Department of Social Care, and the private and third sectors) and non-NHS health care services.
Meetings have taken place with Adult Care Homes and Day Centres, representatives of the Third Sector and Child Day Centres. These meetings have been well attended and more are to take place between Childminders, Home Care Services, Beauty Clinics and further representatives of Third Sector Organisations.
Public drop-in sessions will take place at Douglas Library, Victoria Street on Monday 16th April between 3.00 pm and 6.00 pm and Tuesday 15th May 2012 between 12.00 and 3.00 pm. Members of the public and businesses are welcome to call in and ask questions about how the new Bill will change the regulation of care services on the Island.
Minister of Social Care Hon Chris Robertshaw MHK said:
“Effective regulation of the Island’s care services and social care workforce is essential if the public, service users, their carers and relatives are to be confident in the services they receive. I want to ensure that this new legislation provides the correct balance between protecting service users and at the same time encourage the provision of a vibrant care service market. That is why we are running an extended public consultation to ensure everyone has the opportunity to give us their views.”
Currently there are four Acts that cover the regulation of some of the Island’s care services. These Acts are dated and no longer reflect the way care services are provided. There is also a demand from a number of key stakeholders for a stronger regulatory system as currently a number of social care and non-NHS care services are not regulated at all. The Regulation of Care Bill will introduce a comprehensive, robust and proportionate regulatory system. It will also provide more protection for care service users many of whom are society’s most vulnerable people.
In relation to childcare any regulation has to take into account the varied care arrangements that parents make for their children. Therefore the Bill differentiates between those childcare providers operating on a commercial basis, who will continue to be regulated, and parents setting up their own personal arrangements with friends and family. However we wish to consult very carefully on this matter throughout the consultation period.
The public consultation and consultation meetings will take place throughout March, April and May and the consultation will end on the 25 May 2012. Regular updates will be posted on the Department of Social Care Website (www.gov.im/socialcare).