Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Twenty-Ninth Report

Instruments reported

The Committee has considered the following instruments, and has determined that the special attention of both Houses should be drawn to them on the grounds specified.

1 S.I. 2003/1703: defective drafting

Care Homes (Amendment No. 2) Regulations 2003 (S.I 2003/1703)

1.1 The Committee draws the special attention of both Houses to these Regulations on the ground that they are defectively drafted.

1.2 These Regulations amend the Care Homes Regulations 2001. Regulation 2(3) inserts regulation 5A, paragraph (2) of which requires the person registered in respect of carrying on or managing a care home to provide a statement of fees payable for the provision of specified services to each service user, by not later than the day on which he becomes a service user. Failure to comply is an offence. The Committee asked the Department of Health how this provision is intended to work in the case of a person who became a service user before these Regulations came into force.

1.3 In a memorandum printed at Appendix 1, the Department states that, as the obligation cannot be complied with in the case of such a person, it is clear that it does not apply in such a case. The Committee accepts that a prosecution would be unlikely to succeed in such a case, but does not consider it appropriate for the Regulations to leave the position unclear. In a case such as this the instrument should have included a transitional provision making it clear beyond doubt that regulation 5A(2) does not apply where a person is already a service user when the Regulations come into force. The Committee accordingly reports these Regulations for defective drafting.

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