The government will address concerns raised by the Relatives and Residents Association with regard to the ‘dilution’ of the new Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 (the 2014 Regulations) in response to a House of Lords debate.
Concerns were raised that the new ‘fundamental standards’, due to come into force in April 2015, no longer contained provisions as set out in the current regulations. The particular provisions require providers to inform residents of their complaints procedures, offer a choice of food, and have an emergency plan in place. There is no requirement for any of these obligations in the current draft version of the 2014 Regulations leading to the criticism that the rules governing care providers have been ‘diluted’.
The concerns will now be brought to the attention of CQC who is responsible for issuing guidance on compliance with the new standards and the government will be addressing the concerns in its new proposals.
During the debate, the parliamentary under-secretary of state for health, Lord Howe, said “If noble Lords are in any doubt or have anxiety after this debate and after what I have said, I assure them that I would be happy to feed in the concerns which have been raised this evening in the context of the guidance that is now in preparation.”
Chair of the Relatives and Residents Association, Judy Downey, stated “this debate was very important on a number of levels, not least because it means that our concerns have been acknowledged as a matter of record. It’s also of great value to know that the points we raised will be ‘officially’ passed on to the regulator so that they can ensure that they are incorporated into the forthcoming CQC guidance.”