Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Thirty-First Report


Memorandum by the Scottish Office Department of Health


REGULATIONS 1998 (S.I. 1998/661)

This Memorandum is submitted by the Scottish Office Department of Health to the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments in response to their letter dated 8 April 1998 in which they raised the following points:

(a)  New Schedule 2 increases the fees for applications for registration of nursing homes and for continuation of registration and related matters. Given that the fees (fixed in 1990 and 1991) have been substantially increased with effect from 1 April 1998, explain the reason for the further substantial increases from 1 April 1999 and 1 April 2000.

The Government's policy is that the costs of nursing home regulation should be offset by fees which broadly ensure cost recovery. The fee income by Health Boards for this function has fallen substantially below the cost of regulation with the shortfall being met by Health Boards from their annual general allocations for providing health services for the residents in their areas.

The revised fee levels followed a survey of all Health Boards in Scotland to determine the actual costs of regulation in 1998. Those costs (uprated for forecast inflation as measured by the GDP deflator) are reflected in the fee levels shown as effective from 1 April 2000, when the position will be reviewed. The Government propose to phase the increase over 3 years to ease the impact on registered nursing homes.

The new fees will allow Health Boards to carry out their inspection duties in a cost effective manner.

(b)  If the reason is to achieve full cost recovery, explain why the increase in fees was so long delayed.

There have been no increases in fee levels since 1991 due to the previous administration's decision to avoid placing additional financial burdens on the nursing home sector.

21st April 1998

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