CURRENT LAW RELATING TO SOCIAL CARE
Community care services
496. Section 47 of the National Health Services and Community Care Act 1990 requires local authorities to assess the needs of any person who appears to them to be in need of community care services and decide in the light of that assessment whether any community care services should be provided to that person.
497. Community care services are defined in section 46(3) of the 1990 Act.
498. The Children Act 1989 makes provision for local authority support to children and families including services for children in need, the provision of accommodation, and advice and assistance; provision relating to the protection of children, care and supervision orders; for the regulation and inspection of day care and child minding, and provision in relation children's homes and private fostering
499. The Care Standards Act 2000 makes provision relating to the registration and regulation of children's homes, independent hospitals and clinics, private and local authority care homes, residential family centres, independent medical agencies, domiciliary care agencies, fostering, nursing and voluntary adoption agencies. The Act also makes provision for the regulation and inspection of local authority fostering and adoption services, child minding and day care services. It established the National Care Standards Commission ('NCSC') which has the general duty of keeping the Secretary of State informed about the availability of the provision and quality of services.
500. Proprietors and managers of the establishments and agencies listed above are required to register with the NCSC, or the National Assembly for Wales and to comply with regulatory requirements. The NCSC has power to inspect, and may cancel registration or prosecute for non-compliance with specified regulations.
Inspection of social services authorities
501. Local authority social services (other than local authority fostering and adoption services) are inspected by the Social Services Inspectorate on behalf of the Secretary of State.
Direction making powers
502. Section 84 of the Children Act 1989 provides that, where the Secretary of Sate is satisfied that any local authority has failed, without reasonable excuse, to comply with duties imposed upon them under the Act, he may make an order declaring them to be in default with respect to that duty. The order must contain the Secretary of State's reasons for making it, and may contain directions for the purpose of ensuring that the duty is complied with.
503. Section 7A of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970 provides that every local authority shall exercise social services functions in accordance with directions made by the Secretary of State. Section 7C makes provision for Secretary of State to hold an inquiry. Section 7D empowers the Secretary of State to make specific directions where a local authority has failed to comply with duties which are social services functions.
504. The current provisions relating to complaints against social services are set out in section 7B of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970 and sections 24D and 26 of the Children Act 1989, and in the Complaints Procedure Directions 1990 and the Representations Procedure (Children) Regulations 1991.
Table of effects of the Bill in relation to Wales
|Clause 42||Provides powers for the Assembly concerning statements of standards relating to Welsh NHS bodies. |
|Clause 43||Provides that the Assembly may request that the CHAI provide it with advice and information on health care provided for or by an NHS body.|
|Clause 54||Provides that the CHAI must report to the Assembly where there are failings in health care provided by or for a Welsh NHS body.|
|Clause 57(3)||Provides that the Assembly must give agreement for any regulations made under clause 52(1) (prescribing additional functions for the CHAI) which relate specifically to Welsh NHS bodies. |
|Clause 62||Confers a regulation making power on the Assembly to require persons to produce specified documents.|
|Clause 63 ||Confers on the Assembly, and persons authorised by the Assembly, the power to inspect premises and documents.|
|Clause 66 ||Provides that if the Assembly, in carrying out reviews and investigations, discovers failings on the part of English NHS bodies or cross-border NHS bodies, it shall report its findings to the Secretary of State and further may make recommendations.|
|Clause 71 ||Confers a regulation making power on the Assembly to require persons to explain documents or matters relating to the exercise of the Assembly's functions.|
|Clause 89||Gives the Assembly the general function of encouraging improvements in the provision of Welsh LA social services. |
|Clause 90||Enables the Assembly to review studies and research made by others on Welsh LA social services and make and publish a report.|
|Clause 91 ||Confers on the Assembly the function of conducting reviews of, and investigations into, the discharge of social services functions by local authorities in Wales.|
|Clause 92||Enables the Assembly to undertake or promote comparative studies (for improving social services).|
|Clause 93 ||Enables the Assembly to make regulations to confer additional functions on itself but only where those functions correspond with functions conferred on the CSCI by the Bill or by the Secretary of State. |
|Clause 95||Confers on the Assembly, and persons authorised by the Assembly, the power to inspect premises.|
|Clause 96||Enables persons authorised by the Assembly to inspect and take copies of documents.|
|Clause 97||Gives the Assembly the power to require information from certain persons in relation to social services functions |
|Clause 98||Confers on the Assembly the power to make regulations to require persons to explain documents, or matters relating to the exercise of the Assembly's functions.|
|Clause 106||Confers a duty on the Assembly to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.|
|Clause 110||Provides that the Assembly shall make regulations on the complaints procedure in relation to complaints made to Welsh NHS bodies.|
|Clause 112||Provides that the Assembly may make regulations on the complaints procedure in relation to complaints made to Welsh local authorities about social services.|
|Clause 129||Provides that the Assembly must make an annual report on the way it has exercised its health care and social services functions.|
|Clause 130 ||Enables the Assembly to use any information it obtains in exercising its functions for the purposes of its functions.|
|Clause 131 ||Enables the Assembly to hold an inquiry into any matter connected with its health care or social care functions.|
|Clause 132||Provides that the Assembly and the CHAI must co-operate where appropriate to ensure the efficient discharge of certain functions.|
|Schedule 5, paragraph 3(1), (3), (7) and (8)||Enables the Assembly to appoint a member of the CHAI and remove that member from office, provides that the Secretary of State must consult the Assembly before exercising any functions under this schedule and confers a direction making power on the Assembly to direct a SHA to undertake certain appointment roles.|
|Schedule 5, paragraph 9(2) and (4) ||Enables the Assembly to make payments and/or loans to the CHAI.|
|Schedule 8, paragraph 10(2) ||Enables the Assembly to undertake duties alongside the Audit Commission.|
|Clause 158||Inserts a new section 16CB into the 1977 Act which provides for the Assembly to prescribe functions for itself in relation to dental public health.|
|Clause 159||Inserts new sections 28K, 28M, 28N, 28O, and 28P into the 1977 Act to make provision for the new general dental services contract. These sections confer regulation and direction making powers on the Assembly in relation to GDS.|
|Clause 161||Inserts a new section 28Q into the 1977 Act to provide for regulations to set who may perform any primary dental service. The power is exercisable in relation to Wales by the NAW.|
|Clause 164||Enables the Assembly to make provision for the rights and liabilities of a LHB under a general dental services contract to transfer to a SHA.|
|Clause 165 ||Substitutes new section 79 (charges for dental services) for sections 78A to 79A in the 1977 Act. New section 79 confers various regulation making powers on the Assembly in relation to dental charging.|
|Clause 167(2)||Provides that the Secretary of State must consult the Assembly before establishing or varying a Welfare Food Scheme.|
|Clause 167(7)||Confers powers on the Assembly to prescribe the descriptions of food and advice in relation to the operation of the scheme in Wales.|
|Clause 167(9)||Enables the Assembly, with the agreement of the Secretary of State, to give directions to a body administering a Welfare Food Scheme in relation to matters relating to the operation of a scheme or part of a scheme in Wales.|
|Clause 169||Provides that the Secretary of State must first consult the Assembly before directing a SHA to undertake his appointments function to a body for which appointments are made jointly or concurrently with the Assembly.|
|Clause 174(3)||Requires the Secretary of State to consult the Assembly before making any regulations relating to the scheme.|